Batman, undoubtedly, has been one of the most popular superheroes over the years, second only to “The Man of Steel”, himself. Created in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, “The Caped Crusader” went on to become one of DC Comics most popular characters.
Unlike most of our favorite superhero characters, Batman has no super human powers. He relied on his sharp mental and physical capabilities. And of course on his acquired economic resources as his alter ego, millionaire industrialist, Bruce Wayne.
As a child, Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed by a mugger, which drove him in his youth to learn much about criminology, forensics, the martial arts and disguise. He designed a bat like costume to intimidate his criminal enemies, whom are a fairly superstitious lot.
The Caped Crusader is driven by vengeance of his parents’ deaths. This in turn has lead to a dark and brooding emotional nature. This dark side persisted until the 1950s, when the Comics Code Authority, which many consider just a comic book industry witch-hunt, was created to monitor comic book subject matter. At this point, Batman’s emotional state took on a lighter or even campy persona. And as we all know, the 1960s TV series relied on a comedic nature of “The Dynamic Duo”, which became increasingly popular. For true fans however, years later, he regained his darker brooding emotional state, as can also be evidenced in Tim Burton’s Blockbuster movies of the 1980s and 1990s.
Gotham City, which was modeled after New York City, is where Bat-man patrols and protects the nighttime streets. During the day, Bruce Wayne is known as a charitable and perhaps, somewhat superficial, playboy. But due to his millions, Bruce Wayne has created the Batcave, the Batcar and all the tools and devises necessary for the Dynamic Duo to carry out their crime fighting adventures.
In 1940, a year after Bat-Man was introduced, Robin “The Boy Wonder” became an integral part of the story line. Dick Grayson, who at the time was an orphan, became Bruce Wayne’s ward. Wayne started training Grayson, who already had quite a physical capability, and introduced him to a life of fighting crime.
A personal ally is James Gordon, the police commissioner of Gotham City. Jim, is unknowing of Bat-man’s secret identity, but they collaborate quite often on the criminal element of the city. And of course, there is the ever-trustworthy butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Alfred does know Bruce Wayne’s alter ego and quite frequently assists in crime fighting efforts from the Batcave.
And least we not forget The Caped Crusader's prominent enemies. The most infamous are the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler and Mr. Freeze. Throughout the years, these antagonistic characters have given the Dynamic duo all kinds of grief. But I guess without that grief, we would not have had story lines to follow.
For a more in depth historical accounting and to read about the Caped Crusader in the media, this Batman article has some excellent reading material. Be sure and return to this page and check out some of the goodies listed below.
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