Batman day takes place annually on 17 September to celebrate fictional crime fighting hero Batman. Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27, in 1939. Originally named the “Bat-Man”, the character is also referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World’s Greatest Detective. Batman’s secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. After witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne as a child, he swore vengeance against criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice. Bruce Wayne trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City with assistance from various supporting characters, including his butler Alfred, police commissioner Gordon, and vigilante allies such as Robin. Unlike most superheroes, Batman does not possess any superpowers; rather, he relies on his genius intellect, physical prowess, martial arts abilities, detective skills, science and technology, vast wealth, intimidation, and indomitable will. A large assortment of villains make up Batman’s rogues gallery, including his archenemy, the Joker.
Batman was created In 1939, when, after the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors at National Comics Publications (the future DC Comics) to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane created “the Bat-Man”. Collaborator Bill Finger recalled that “Kane had an idea for a character called ‘Batman,’ and he’d like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane’s, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of … reddish tights, I believe, with boots … no gloves, no gauntlets … with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign … BATMAN”. The bat-wing-like cape was suggested by Bob Kane, inspired as a child by Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch of an ornithopter flying device Finger suggested giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character’s secret identity: “Bruce Wayne’s first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock … then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne.” He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk’s popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was also familiar. Kane and Finger drew upon contemporary 1930s popular culture for inspiration regarding much of the Bat-Man’s look, personality, methods, and weaponry.
Batman is an aristocratic hero with a double identity, inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel (created by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, 1903) and Zorro (created by Johnston McCulley, 1919). Like them, Batman performed his heroic deeds in secret, averted suspicion by playing aloof in public, and marked his work with a signature symbol. Kane noted the influence of the films The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Bat Whispers (1930) in the creation of the character’s iconography. Finger, drawing inspiration from pulp heroes like Doc Savage, The Shadow, Dick Tracy, and Sherlock Holmes, made the character a master sleuth.
Kane signed away ownership in the character in exchange for, among other compensation, a mandatory byline on all Batman comics. This byline did not originally say “Batman created by Bob Kane”; his name was simply written on the title page of each story. The name disappeared from the comic book in the mid-1960s, replaced by credits for each story’s actual writer and artists. In the late 1970s, when Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster began receiving a “created by” credit on the Superman titles, along with William Moulton Marston being given the byline for creating Wonder Woman, Batman stories began saying “Created by Bob Kane” in addition to the other credits.
Finger did not receive the same recognition. While he had received credit for other DC work since the 1940s, he began, in the 1960s, to receive limited acknowledgment for his Batman writing; in the letters page of Batman #169 (February 1965) for example, editor Julius Schwartz names him as the creator of the Riddler, one of Batman’s recurring villains. However, Finger’s contract left him only with his writing page rate and no byline. Kane wrote, “Bill was disheartened by the lack of major accomplishments in his career. He felt that he had not used his creative potential to its fullest and that success had passed him by.” At the time of Finger’s death in 1974, DC had not officially credited Finger as Batman co-creator. Jerry Robinson, who also worked with Finger and Kane on the strip at this time, has criticized Kane for failing to share the credit. Kane initially rebutted Finger’s claims at having created Batman. However Finger eventually received credit for his role in Batman’s creation on the 2016 superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the second season of Gotham after a deal was worked out between the Finger family and DC. Finger received credit as a creator of Batman for the first time in a comic in October 2015 with Batman and Robin Eternal #3 and Batman: Arkham Knight Genesis #3.
Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) in the story, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate”, which was originally written in the style of the pulps with Batman showing little remorse over killing or maiming criminals. Batman proved a hit character, and he received his own solo title in 1940 while continuing to star in Detective Comics. By that time, Detective Comics was the top-selling and most influential publisher in the industry; Batman and the company’s other major hero, Superman, were the cornerstones of the company’s success. The two characters were featured side-by-side as the stars of World’s Finest Comics, (World’s Best Comics) whose Creators included Jerry Robinson and Dick Sprang. Elements were gradually added to the character and the artistic depiction of Batman evolved. Batman’s utility belt was introduced in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), followed by the boomerang-like batarang and the first bat-themed vehicle, the Batplane, in #31 (Sept. 1939). The character’s origin was revealed in #33 (Nov. 1939), establishing the brooding persona of Batman/ Bruce Wayne, who after witnessing his parents’ tragic murder at the hands of a mugger vows to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of his life fighting criminals”.
In 1940 Batman’s junior counterpart Robin was introduced in Detective Comics #38 and The first issue of the solo spin-off series Batman also introduced two of his most persistent enemies, the Joker and Catwoman. By 1942, the writers and artists behind the Batman comics had established most of the basic elements of the Batman mythos. In the years following World War II, DC Comics “adopted a postwar editorial direction removing the bleak and menacing social commentary in favour of lighthearted juvenile fantasy and Batman was instead portrayed as a respectable citizen and paternal figure that inhabited a “bright and colorful” environment.
During the Silver and Bronze ages of the 1950s and early 1960s Batman became one of the few superhero characters to be continuously published. In the story “The Mightiest Team in the World” in Superman #76 (June 1952), Batman teams up with Superman for the first time and the pair discover each other’s secret identity. World’s Finest Comics was subsequently revamped so it featured stories starring both heroes together, instead of separate Batman and Superman stories.
Unfortunately The comic book industry came under scrutiny when psychologist Fredric Wertham published the book book Seduction of the Innocent in 1954 in which Wertham postulated that children imitated crimes committed in comic books, and that these works corrupted the morals of the youth, particularly Batman and Superman. Wertham’s criticisms raised a public outcry during the 1950s, eventually leading to the establishment of the now defunct Comics Code Authority. Scholars have suggested that the characters of Batwoman and the pre-Barbara Gordon Bat-Girl were introduced to allay the allegation that Batman and Robin were gay, and the stories took on a campier, lighter feel. In the late 1950s, Batman stories gradually became more science fiction-oriented, And New characters such as Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite were introduced. Batman’s adventures started to include odd transformations or bizarre space aliens. In 1960, Batman debuted as a member of the Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb. 1960), before appearing in several Justice League comic series.
Sadly By 1964, sales of Batman titles had fallen drastically and DC was planning to kill Batman off altogether. In response editor Julius Schwartz made drastic changes, beginning with 1964’s Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), when Schwartz introduced more detective-oriented stories. The Batmobile was redesigned, and Batman’s costume was modified to incorporate a yellow ellipse behind the bat-insignia. The space aliens, time travel, and characters of the 1950s such as Batwoman, Ace, and Bat-Mite were retired. Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred was killed off and a new female relative for the Wayne family, Aunt Harriet, came to live with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.
Batman made it’s television debut in 1966. This had a profound influence on the character. The success of the series increased sales throughout the comic book industry. Elements such as the character of Batgirl and the show’s campy nature were introduced and Alfred returned. Predictably Although both the comics and TV show were initially successful the camp approach eventually wore thin and the show was canceled in 1968, and the Batman comics themselves also lost popularity.
In response writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams made a deliberate effort to distance Batman from the campy portrayal of the 1960s TV series and return him to The “grim avenger of the night”. O’Neil and Adams first collaborated on the story “The Secret of the Waiting Graves” in Detective Comics #395 (Jan. 1970). Which featured a grimmer, darker Batman. Detective Comics #471–476 (Aug. 1977 – April 1978), subsequently influenced the 1989 movie Batman and be adapted for Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted in 1992.
During 1986 Frank Miller’s limited series The Dark Knight Returns returned the character to his darker roots, both in atmosphere and tone. The comic book, which tells the story of a 55-year-old Batman coming out of retirement in a possible future, reinvigorated interest in the character and sparked a major resurgence in the character’s popularity. In 1986 Dennis O’Neil took over as editor of the Batman titles and set the template for the portrayal of Batman following DC’s status quo-altering miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. In the 1987 “Year One” storyline in Batman #404–407 Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli redefined the character’s origins. Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland continued this dark trend with Batman: The Killing Joke, in which the Joker, attempting to drive Commissioner Gordon insane, cripples Gordon’s daughter Barbara, and then kidnaps and tortures the commissioner, physically and psychologically. In 1988 The Batman comics garnered major attention, when DC Comics asked readers to vote on whether Jason Todd, the second Robin, lived or died. The 1993 “Knightfall” story arc introduced a new villain, Bane, who critically injures Batman after pushing him to the limits of his endurance. Jean-Paul Valley, known as Azrael, is called upon to wear the Batsuit during Bruce Wayne’s convalescence.
Writers Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, and Alan Grant worked on “Knightfall”, plus Batman crossovers Cataclysm” and 1999’s “No Man’s Land”, storylines which featured the effects of an earthquake-ravaged Gotham City. Another writer who rose to prominence on the Batman comic series, was Jeph Loeb. Along with longtime collaborator Tim Sale, they wrote two miniseries (“The Long Halloween” and “Dark Victory”) that pit an early in his career version of Batman against his entire rogues gallery (including The Joker, Penguin, catwoman, bane, The Riddler, Poison Ivy and Two-Face). Jeph Loeb and artist Jim Lee then began work on: “Batman: Hush” Which has Batman and Catwoman teaming up against all of Batman’s other enemies whilst pursuing the mysterious supervillain Hush. Bob Schreck also replaced O’Neil as editor. Writer Judd Winick wrote another multi-issue story, “Under the Hood”. In 2005, DC launched All-Star Batman and Robin, a stand-alone comic series set outside the main DC Universe continuity. Written by Frank Miller and drawn by Jim Lee.
From 2006, Grant Morrison and Paul Dini were the regular writers of Batman and Detective Comics, and Morrison began reincorporating controversial elements of Batman lore including the science fiction element from the 1950’s. Morrison’s run climaxed with “Batman R.I.P.”, in which Batman confronts the villainous “Black Glove” organization, which sought to drive Batman into madness. “Batman R.I.P.” segued into Final Crisis (also written by Morrison), in which Batman confronts Darkseid. In the 2009 miniseries Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Wayne’s former protégé Dick Grayson becomes the new Batman, and Wayne’s son Damian becomes the new Robin while Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne saw Bruce travel through history. The story Batman Incorporated features Bruce taking his crime-fighting cause globally. DC Comics announced that Grayson would be the main character in Batman, Detective Comics, and Batman and Robin, while Wayne would be the main character in Batman Incorporated. Bruce also appeared in, Batman: The Dark Knight.
In September 2011, DC Comics’ entire line of superhero comic books, including its Batman franchise, were canceled and relaunched with new #1 issues as part of the New 52 reboot. Bruce Wayne is the only character to be identified as Batman and is featured in Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, and Batman: The Dark Knight. Dick Grayson returns to the mantle of Nightwing and appears in his own ongoing series. Batman Incorporated was relaunched in 2012–2013 to complete the “Leviathan” storyline. Starting with the New 52, Scott Snyder was the writer of the Batman title. He wrote “Night of the Owls”, where Batman confronts the Court of Owls, a secret society that has controlled Gotham for centuries. “Death of the Family”, where the Joker returns to Gotham and simultaneously attacks each member of the Batman family and “Batman: Zero Year”, which redefined Batman’s origin in The New 52. This followed Batman #0, which explored the character’s early years. The final storyline before the “Convergence” (2015) storyline was “Endgame”, where Batman again confronts the Joker.
Starting with Batman vol. 2, #41, Commissioner James Gordon takes over Bruce’s mantle as a new, state-sanctioned, robotic-Batman, debuting in the Free Comic Book Day special comic Divergence. However, Bruce Wayne is soon revealed to be alive, albeit now suffering almost total amnesia of his life as Batman and only remembering his life as Bruce Wayne through what he has learned from Alfred. Bruce Wayne finds happiness and proposes to his girlfriend, Julie Madison. However the villainous Mr. Bloom heavily injures Jim Gordon and takes control of Gotham City and threatens to destroy the city by energizing a particle reactor to create a “strange star” to swallow the city. However With help from Alfred, Bruce wayne/Batman returns to help Jim Gordon against Mr. Bloom. In 2015, DC Comics released The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, the sequel to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again. In 2016, DC Comics’ entire line of comic book titles was relaunched and Batman was rebooted in Batman: Rebirth #1. Which introduced two vigilantes, Gotham and Gotham Girl. The Batman series Detective Comics resumed its original numbering system starting with June 2016’s #934, which featured a team consisting of Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Clayface, led by Batman and Batwoman. While The New 52 series was labeled volume 2 and went from issues #1-52. In 2017 DC Comics ended the Rebirth branding, opting to include everything under a larger “DC Universe” banner.
Batman has become An American cultural icon garnering enormous popularity and is among the most identifiable comic book characters. Batman has been licensed and featured in various adaptations, from radio to television and film, and appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel, toys, and video games. The character has also intrigued psychiatrists, with many offering interpretations of his psyche. In 2015, FanSided ranked Batman as number one on their list of “50 Greatest Super Heroes In Comic Book History”. Kevin Conroy, Rino Romano, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Anthony Ruivivar, Jason O’Mara, and Will Arnett, among others, have provided the character’s voice for animated adaptations. Batman has been depicted in both film and television by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck.