For as long as anyone can remember, the Waynes have been the most affluent family known in Gotham. Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha were both well-liked members of the family, known for both their philanthropy and extravagant parties. They doted upon their young son Bruce, giving him his every desire. While his parents were both regularly busy and Bruce was largely raised by the family butler Alfred Pennyworth, they made sure that Bruce knew how much they loved him and how much he meant to them. Family time with all three of them was rare, and a favorite activity was to attend the movies. It was among Bruce's favorite activities, going to see movies with his family.
On one such outing when Bruce was only 11 years old, disaster struck. A desperate criminal named Joe Chill mugged the Wayne family, threatening them to either hand over their money or lose their life. Thomas tried to calm the criminal, but when he demanded Martha's pearls he refused to give them up. Stepping forward, he startled the criminal and both he and Martha were swiftly killed by Chill's gun. The death of the Waynes made headline news across the country, and later would often be pointed to as a turning point when Gotham's crime rate reached a critical mass, and it became the undeniable violent crime capital. For Bruce, it was much more personal than all that; he was an orphan, and all for just a string of pearls.
Depressed and in mourning, young Bruce started to wonder what he could possibly do to make things better, to make things right. Eventually he realized he couldn't make his parents come back from the dead, but he could try to make Gotham better, make sure that no one like him would ever have to suffer the same fate as he. Late one night when he was 13, in a prayer more to his dead parents than any particular God, Bruce made a promise that he would avenge his parents. He got through school, training his body and preparing himself. Realizing that college wasn't going to train him to do what he needed to know, Bruce decided to go on a journey, traveling around the world to learn all he can.
Using his considerable fortune, Bruce began to seek out the world's leading experts in almost every major field of study. This pilgrimage took him across the globe, from the cliffs of Dover to the islands of Japan. He remained with his teachers until he felt he had learned all he needed to, before moving on to the next. All throughout the process, he started to develop the identity of his eventual goal based on a childhood fear of winged creatures. The goal was clearly in site, and ten years after beginning his journey, he returned to his home of Gotham City a changed man. He was no longer just Bruce Wayne. He had become the Batman.
The first step in creating the Batman was outfitting himself with the tools of the trade. By taking abandoned prototypes from the Wayne Industries deep vaults and modifying them to suit his unique needs. Soon, the Caped Crusader made his debut and almost immediately made quite an impression. Compared to the heroes filling the streets (and skys) of New York City, there was something seedier and more sinister about Batman.
Not long after first appearing in Gotham's night sky, Batman realized that he couldn't handle the issues of Gotham all on his own and began to recruit allies. First was Jim Gordon, the Gotham police detective that was as frustrated with the corrupt Gotham Police Department as Batman. Next was Dick Grayson, the orphaned trapeze artist who would become the first Robin. More allies were added, as were stranger and wilder villains, most patients at the Arkham Asylum. Over the last ten years, Batman has protected his city, as well as the rest of the world as a member of the Justice League of America. And there is rarely a night when he can't be seen, watching over his city as the visage of a gothic guardian angel.
After the tragic murder of his parents, Bruce Wayne made a silent vow to avenge their death and rid Gotham City of the sinister element that took their lives. As such, he began the cultivation of the Batman persona, a brooding creature of the night that strikes fear in the hearts of Gotham's criminals. In the process, he also gave Bruce Wayne an exterior identity of being an aloof playboy, rotating through pretty girls at a regular clip.
With the creation of these two conflicting fronts, this raises the question of who the true person that is both Bruce Wayne and the Batman really is? The question is vexing for even Bruce himself, who finds himself falling more and more into identifying himself as Batman, but also recognizing a large part of that identity as an act. The truth probably falls somewhere in between, with someone warmer than the cool and distant Batman and more sinceere and dedicated than the flimsy Wayne.
Batman has dedicated his entire adult life to ridding his city of Gotham of the evil that took his parents life. Understandably, he's a bit protecting and territorial about the city and expects all new do-gooders to go through him before doing his heroing. Of course, he doesn't necessarily make this public knowledge, and often prefers to confront new vigilantes on their own terms, confronting them after a job well done or assisting them if things go poorly, challenging them on if they're ready for this. He never lets people know how good they actually are, and rarely allows himself to seem impressed.
Batman doesn't necessarily like working with other people, though he has proven himself a valuable teammate among the Justice League. He would much prefer taking the weight of the world on his own shoulders, failing or succeeding on his own merits. Still, he also realizes he isn't perfect (though he would never admit it) and companionship is sometimes necessary. He treats his partners and proteges with high expectations, making it clear no uncertain terms that there is no room for error when working with him, as they by default are representing him.
Bruce Wayne traveled around the world, studying various masters of different fields. This includes subjects as diverse as literature and history to psychology and sociology. He trained himself in advanced chemistry, and learned how to create antidotes to poisons. He learned vehicle maintenance as well as both driving and flying abilities. Back home, Alfred Pennyworth taught him the important steps in stabalizing a man in critical condition, as well as how to diagnose and remedy most non-exotic diseases.
Beyond classroom learning, Bruce has developed amazing deductive abilities, able to piece together seeming unrelated clues and reach a valid conclusion. He has studied various martial arts from the best in the world and combined them into his own brutal fighting style. He learned the secrets of stage magic, including sleights of hands and escape arts. And Bruce is very, very good at being Batman, putting on an intimidating and awe-inspiring air that can often get exactly what he wants without saying a word.
Bruce Wayne's main advantage is the Wayne Fortune he inherited, easily equaling multiple billions of dollars. He is the CEO and President of Wayne Industries, and owns the patents to several prototypes that have been converted into bat gizmos of various sorts. This includes batarangs, grappling hooks, smoke bombs, arisol sprays and more; even if Batman doesn't have one today, he may just pay someone under the table to development it for him, no questions asked. These are all stored in the Batcave, Batman's subterreanean lair beneath Wayne Manor, along with his impressive mainframe computer.
Batman's costume is probably his most important equipment, with protective and interlocked plating guarding 90% of his body. Slight electrical charges can be sent throughout the exterior, shocking anyone who attempts to remove it. There are also several Bat-vehicles, each with booby traps for baddies. The most famous is the street roadster known as the Batmobile, but there is also a Batplane, Batcopter and several Batbikes.
Batman has several allies, some who don't know his secret identity like Commisioner Jim Gordon, and others like Robin and Oracle who he works closely with; collectively, this network of allies is known as the Bat-family. Batman is also a charter member of the Justice League of America, where he serves a primary leadership role.
Secret Identity-Bruce Wayne is the Caped Crusader Batman, but it is in his best interest to keep that a secret. Not only does it make his job easier for no one to be knocking down the door of Wayne Manor, it also would be a grave danger for his enemies to know where he sleeps at night. Furthermore, the identity of his various proteges would be easier to asses, as most of them have some connection to him in his civilian identity, endangering them as well. For whatever reason or various reasons, Batman desires to keep his true identity unknown and anyone who figures out his secret has a major bargaining chip against him, and almsot sure-fire blackmail material.
Mere Man Among Gods-Batman has no special abilities, beyond a higher than average intelligence and major funds to support his mission. For most people, being an ordinary man isn't necessarily a major flaw, but when you tangle with some of the villains that Batman does, it is better for your enemy to not know that. This is why he doesn't go to any great effort to dispel rumors and speculation that he is empowered by some dark force, as it instils some fear in his opponents. But the fact remains that without his gadgets, Batman is at a serious handicap against some of his foes, especially those in his dealings with the Justice League of America.
The Rule-Batman has a single rule: never kill. This includes making every effort possible to save life, first and foremost, as allowing someone to die is only a step away from pulling the trigger yourself. To this end, he never use lethal weaponry and he will never be rid of his rogue's gallery, merely submitting them to Arkham where they will inevitably escape again. His job would be so much easier if it weren't for the rule, but he made a promise to his parents and to himself to do things the "right way", no matter how tempting the easy way may be.
Self Sacrificing-Simply put, if it means saving the world, Gotham City or really any innocent life, Batman views his life as forfeit for the greater good. It is his responsibility to step in traps, even the obvious ones, if it means saving innocent life. This sense of duty and honor is well known by most of Batman's enemies, and few are too proud to exploit it. If you ever want to get the Caped Crusader's attention, the easiest way is to make a very public display of danger to the public at large. He'll be on the spot in under an hour, whether you want him to be or not.
None. Despite the rumors, the Batman is completely baseline human.
- The Clowned Prince of Crime, and the greatest source of trauma and hardship throughout Bruce's superheroing life, The Joker is one of the most iconic villains in comicdom. Deranged, chaotic and totally unpredictable, The Joker will not stop until everyone in Gotham can't get a good night's sleep with facing down nigh terrors.
- Once one of Batman's greatest allys, Harvey Dent became a different man after being hideously scarred. Now, he lives two lives: the reasonable and compassionate Harvey, and the malicious, hateful Two-Face.
- Perhaps a compulsive criminal who must prove himself the intellectual superior to the infamous Batman, or a career criminal who can't quite get over his obsession of a good puzzle. Either way, always entertaining and not quite as malicious as some of the other rogues and one of the best dressed.
Ra's Al Ghul
- Few people can claim to be the intellectual superior to Batman. The head of the mysterious League of Assassins is among that short number and, despite his admiration of the World's Greatest Detective, is one of his greatest adversaries.
- Talk about a fangirl.
- One of Batman's few supernaturally powered villains and one of the most terrifying. He can be anywhere, and has a weapon always on hand, no pun intended. Also plenty of versions to use for inspiration.
- The coolest of Batman's villains. He can't be scared because he has ice-water in his veins. I'd go for a few more temperature based kinda-puns, but that would be cold.
- One of Batman's oldest allies, and the current Commissioner of Police. Gordon is a 'Good Cop' who believes in justice and the law. He just happens to not wear a mask, and his age has caused him to slow a few steps in recent years.
- Run my business. Make me toys. Be Morgan Freeman. (You know you want to.) Alternatively, if you prefer being more hunchbacky, you could go for Harold Allnut.
- Want to tell Batman what to do, and occasionally actually be listened to? Want to have amazing war stories? Make a mean spot of tea?
- Well intentioned but hard-headed gumshoe. Good drinking buddy for Renee.
- Okay, maybe a longshot, but I find the idea of a Batman 'expert' inherently awesome, so dropping it in here to make me happy.
Logs Including Bruce Wayne/BatmanEdit
2010-08-14: A Trip To The Theatre: Batman and Batgirl battle theatre hijacking terrorists.
2010-08-14: Meeting Again: Bruce Wayne runs into Selina Kyle at a charity ball.
2010-08-16: You'll Never Guess Who I Saw Yesterday: Oracle fills Bruce in on spotting a Jason Todd "impersonator."
2010-08-17: Ninjas, Cap and Ollie's Social Skills: Batman visits some of his fellow league members
2010-08-20: On The Wrong Side of the River: The G-Kings are causing trouble in Gotham, which leaves Batman to break it up and encounter Amy, as part of the crew.
2010-08-21: Not As Batman: Batman has a disagreement with Cassandra
2010-08-22: A New Alliance: Batman makes an agreement with Huntress
2010-08-23: A Bad Date: Bruce has his date with Selina rudely interrupted with free champagne
2010-08-26: The Research Phase: Batman and Robin interrogate some crooks, with an assist from Huntress.
2010-08-27: Do you Batlieve in Magic?: Batman visits Zatanna after a show, and encourages her to join the League.