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Batman, played by Michael Keaton in the movies Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman & Robin (1997), and Batman Triumphant (2000), is an alter-ego and personality deviation of Bruce Wayne, formed in response to the sudden and brutal murder of his parents when he was eight. A dark, brooding spectre, Batman sees himself as the protector of Gotham City, aiming to clean up the city's crime and corruption while bringing its criminals to justice by any means necessary.


Early Life

Bruce Wayne had been born to wealthy but civic-minded parents. The noble Doctor Thomas Wayne and the philanthropic Martha Wayne had worked tirelessly to reverse Gotham City's urban decline, and had become renown for their glittering charity fundraisers and their support of initiatives to stimulate the city's growth as a place without crime and poverty. One summer night when he was ten years old, Bruce had accompanied his parents to see Footlight Frenzy at the Monarch Theatre in downtown Gotham. Following the show, his father had decided they should walk for a bit before taking a cab back to Wayne Manor.
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Bruce and his parents at the Monarch Theatre.

It wasn't long before his mother had noticed someone following them. Attempting to evade the followers, who turned out to be two hoodlums, Bruce's parents found themselves cornered in a dead-end alley as the hoods, on orders to kill the Waynes due to their meddling in mafia affairs, confronted them with guns drawn. As one of the hoods grabbed for Martha's pearl necklace, Thomas tried to stop him only to be gunned down by the other hood; Bruce's mother was then also gunned down. As the first hoodlum started away, the second turned to shoot Bruce but was dissuaded by his fleeing companion. Bruce would never forget the man's evil grin as he had aimed the gun at him, or the cryptic question he had asked: "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light?". The violent deaths of Bruce's parents fractured his psyche. To cope with the trauma he became obsessed with eradicating crime from Gotham's streets so that no one else would suffer the same pain. He studied combat, science, psychology, and criminology. With the assistance of his butler and guardian, Alfred Pennyworth, he developed new technologies and weapons in the "bat caves" beneath Wayne Manor, and a new persona for himself, that of "the Batman," a frightening, phantom-like vigilante whose self-appointed mission was to lurk the darkened streets of Gotham, meting out rough justice to criminals.

Batman (1989)

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Bruce Wayne.

While publicly devoting his money and attention to cleaning up Gotham, his forays against the criminal underworld continued; encouraging rumour and superstition of himself to manifest amongst the populace. As Batman he became attached to the Gotham Cathderal; once the spiritual center of the city, and would take to surveying the city from amongst the cathedral's towers during patrols. It was during one of these surveys that he heard the scream of Harold's wife as she and her son, victims of a mugging, lay next their prone husband/father. Tracking the two thugs responsible, Batman took the opportunity to use them to spread word of his presence in Gotham. His attention to being Batman, however, meant that he was unable to attend the celebratory event of Harvey Dent being elected as Gotham's new District Attorney; his seat as one of Dent's prominent electoral supporters being notably empty. Holding a charity gala at Wayne Manor to help fund the flailing Gotham City 200th Anniversary Parade. Bruce was forced to attend the event due to his duties as a host, however, he ensured that the mansion's surveillance system tracked key guests such as James Gordon, Harvey Dent, and Joe Borg, to gather possible intelligence on Gotham's affairs. While attending to his duties as host, he was harried by photographer Vicki Vale who, not knowing that he was the one she was looking for, asked him where she could find "Bruce Wayne" to which Bruce responded seemingly in jest that he did not know, taking him seriously Vale then left to continue looking for him. Later catching Vale wandering the mansion along with reporter Alexander Knox, Bruce decided to follow them as they wandered into the mansion's armoury and engaged them in conversation, revealing himself to be the one Vale was searching for, however, as Vale offered that she would like to photograph the mansion, Alfred appeared to alert Bruce of James Gordon's sudden compulsion to leave the gala. Leaving the two journalists in the armoury, Bruce reviewed the surveillance footage of Gordon and learnt of a pending massing of mafia and police forces gathering at Axis Chemicals. Learning of Gordon's potential plan to capture Jack Napier in order to get to crime boss Carl Grissom, Bruce decides to also go to Axis Chemicals to assist Gordon's forces in Napier's capture. Arriving at the chemical plant, Bruce found himself walking into a
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Batman meets Napier at Axis Chemicals.

firefight between Napier's men, Grissom's men and Gordon's men. Systematically working his way through Napier's men, Bruce crossed paths with Gordon before managing to catch sight of Napier. About to apprehend him, Bruce was forced to let Napier go when his second, Bob, Bruce returned to distract Napier before he could escape. However, as a ricocheted bullet that was originally intended for Batman, pierced through Napier's face, Bruce attempted to save the thug from falling over the railing only to lose his grip and watch as Napier plummeted into the vat of chemicals below. Having failed in capturing Napier, Gordon attempts to capture the Batman only to have him disappear from his reach; ascending to the factory's roof using his grapple. The night a failure, Bruce left the plant and returned to the cave. Managing to gain a dinner date with Vicki Vale, Bruce attempts a formal dinner in one of the manor's formal dinner rooms only to realise her uncomfortability. Deciding to eat in the manor's kitchen instead with Alfred, Alfred begins recounting stories of Bruce's youth and Vicki and Bruce begin to bond. As Alfred leaves for bed, the pair leave soon after; with Vicki being slightly intoxicated. As she falls asleep in his bed, Bruce stays awake due to his insomnia and conflict over their growing bond; eventually Bruce leaves to exercise until daybreak where he pretends to have fallen asleep on the couch. "Awoken" by Vicki, he turns down her offer to spend lunch together; saying that he has an "important meeting" to attend, which was the anniversary of his parents' deaths. Fending off her further offers with the lie that he would be out of town, he instead agreed that they would meet when he returned. Later that day after Vicki had gone to work, Bruce leaves to perform the same ritual he had performed every year since his parent's death; paying his respects at the alley where his parents died. Having learned of his lie about going out of town that day and having found no information on him at the Gazette, Vicki secretly followed Bruce as he left the manor; following and watching as he enters the alley between Pearl and Phillips street and lays a pair of roses on the pavement. Not knowing of the significance of the alley, Vicki continued to follow Bruce as he wandered out of the alley into Gotham Square and a public announcement outside City Hall of

Batman Returns (1992)

Keeping his promise, Bruce continued his endeavours as the Batman; patrolling Gotham's streets and inflicting terror
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Bruce Wayne noticing the lit Bat-Signal.

into the heart of the city's shrinking crime populace. His persistence to this path eventually led to Vicki leaving him temporarily; alienated by Bruce's inability to resolve his duality as Batman and Bruce Wayne. As time went by, Bruce began to notice the power grabs by commercial Mongol Max Shreck into many of Gotham's commercial and industrial districts and moved to position himself as a competitor in Shreck's bid to run the city.

Batman Forever (1995)

At the Gotham Funeral Home around Halloween time, he attended Max Shreck's funeral and said a few words.

Batman & Robin (1997)

His back was broken by Bane.

Batman Triumphant (2000)

He has a teenage son.

World's Finest (2000)

He teams up with Superman.

Batman Beyond (2019)

Gallery

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