There are superheroes and then there is Batman. Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman, has been around since he first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Since then he has grown in popularity and moved to other forms of media including approximately thirty movies, television shows, and video games. Bruce isn’t known for having humble beginnings like many superheroes. In fact, he was born into one of the wealthiest families in the world. Poised to be the heir of his father’s company Wayne Enterprise, he led a normal life until he was ten years old when the world as he knew it came crashing down around him.
After a night at the theater, his parents were gunned down in an alley by a criminal. Bruce witnessed this gruesome act and was left alone with his parents’ dead bodies. He swore in that very moment to avenge his parents’ death and dedicate his life to fight crime. Since then, Batman has become the best detective the world has ever known (sorry Sherlock). Batman is also known for having some of the best supporting characters as well as the most well-developed rogues’ gallery headed by the Joker.
Mr. Wayne has been in the spotlight since 1939. This is a lot of time for all a person’s secrets to be flushed out. However, this is Batman we are taking about. Here is a list of fifteen facts you might not know about the Caped Crusader.
15. “Bruce Wayne” Was A Real Hero… Sort Of
The name Bruce Wayne is not simply plucked out of thin air; the Batman gets his birth name from two famous historical warriors. The name “Bruce” comes from the Scottish warrior and King of Scots, Robert the Bruce. This man was a valiant leader that fought for Scotland and eventually led his men in the First War of Scottish Independence winning their freedom and is today a national hero. “Wayne” is derived from Revolutionary War soldier and hero Anthony Wayne. His rigger and achievements had generals taking notice and earned him the nickname Mad Anthony Wayne. This reputation eventually led to his promotion to General in Chief of the United States Army. Wayne’s military work is immortalized and commemorated by Fort Wayne in Indiana. Batman seems to have fighting in his name and blood seeing that the comics also reference Mad Anthony Wayne as being a direct ancestor to Bruce.
14. Adam West Was Not The First On-Screen Batman
Many people look to Adam West when they think of the first incarnation of Bruce Wayne on the screen. While West did play Batman in a few movies as well as a television series starting in 1966, he was not the first actor to put on the cowl. The Batman is a film from 1943 with a runtime of four hours and twenty minutes. And you thought Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had a long runtime! Being released in the midst of World War II, The Batman is centered around Batman and Robin working to stop Prince Daka, who is a Japanese spy working in Gotham City’s Little Tokyo turning scientists into zombies. The film stars Lewis Wilson as Batman and Douglas Croft as Robin.
13. Bruce Wayne Has A Son
Son of the Batman and Talia al Ghul and grandson of Ra’s al Ghul, Damian Wayne is destined to be a warrior. Damian was born unbeknownst to his father and raised as an assassin by his mother. When Bruce became aware that he had a son, he took him under his wing (see what I did there? Because… Batman) to train him to be the next Robin. Bruce feared that otherwise Damian would be used as a pawn to do his mother’s bidding. Damian fights constantly to stay in line with his father’s code and leave behind his murderous tendencies implanted by his mother. Even though the character is extremely well-developed and liked by many fans, he remains mostly unknown due to the lack of inclusion in most media. Damian has appeared in many comics including Teen Titans, Superman, Nightwing, and more. We just hope he makes the crossover to the screen sooner rather than later.
12. Bruce Wayne Has A Daughter
Comic book readers might have known that Batman has a son out there, but very few people know that the Dark Knight also had a daughter. Damian Wayne is one of the Robins of Prime Earth but Helena Wayne was once Robin of Earth Two. The multiverse is a very confusing system of different Earths wherein different versions of DC heroes exist. On Earth Two, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, (AKA Cat Woman), have a daughter named Helena Wayne. After witnessing the death of her father (Earth Two Batman is dead) she went after the supervillain Darkseid. In her pursuit, she ended up on Prime Earth where she took on the alias Helena Bertinelli and took on villains as the Huntress. She eventually returned to Earth Two where she currently resides and continues to fight crime under the moniker of the Huntress.
11. Batman Is Stronger Than He Appears
As mentioned in the last section, Helena Wayne ended up on Prime Earth while in pursuit of Darkseid. The reason Helena chased Darkseid was due to the fact that he killed her father. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise when realizing that even Superman has fought Darkseid a few times and has a hard time keeping the villain down. Although Earth Two Batman wasn’t much of a match for the omega baddie, Prime Earth Batman had a better showing. Taking a page out of the Tony Stark Playbook, Batman built a new suit in order to visit Darkseid’s home planet of Apokalips. The suit was draining and slowly killing Bruce Wayne but he held his own and beat Darkseid in a hand-to-hand fight. This is a testament to Batman’s mental strength and tactfulness in that he is able to go toe-to-toe with one of the most iconic and toughest villains in the DC universe even though Bruce is a mere mortal man. Batman is much more useful than he appeared to be in the final battle in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and we will hopefully see this going forward in the DCEU.
10. His Father Was Batman And His Mother Was The Joker
While we are on the topic of alternate realities, we might as well cover the Flashpoint Paradox in which Bruce Wayne died at age ten. If you are familiar with The Flash, you may be aware that his mother was also murdered when he was young. The Flash ran back in time in order to save his mother causing a new timeline to be created. In this timeline Joe Chill killed Bruce in the alley as opposed to Thomas and Martha. Seeing their young son murdered in front of them set both Martha and Thomas down different paths. The two were divorced as Thomas Wayne decided to fight criminals so no one else would go through the pain he suffered and created an alter ego called Batman to do just that. Martha, on the other hand, became obsessed with her son’s murder until it drove her crazy. She gave into the madness that had devoured her mind and fell into a life of crime as the Joker. Seeing that this timeline was much worse, The Flash ran back in time once more to stop himself from changing the past and reset the timeline as we know it.
9. Batman Has A Favorite Food
It is a known fact that everyone has a favorite food, even fictional characters. Most of the time we see that characters love common food such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ love for pizza. Batman’s favorite food, however, is one of which you might not have heard. As Alfred lets us know in Batman Vol. 1 #701, Bruce’s favorite food is mulligatawny soup. This is an English soup with Indian influence. The word mulligatawny translates to ‘pepper-water’ and most recipes call for the soup to be made with chicken, lamb, curry, and apples. It would make sense that Bruce developed a taste for this dish as he travelled and trained to become the Batman. Just in case you were wondering, September 17th has officially been named Batman Day by DC comics, so if you are looking for the best ways to celebrate, or if you are simply looking for the perfect meal after a night of crime-fighting, mulligatawny soup is a must!
8. There Is A Price To Be Batman
MoneySupermarket.com released an infographic breaking down how much it would actually cost to be the Batman. In the breakdown, they reviewed everything from the individual parts of the costume to his training. Highlights of the infographic include the fact that Batman’s cowl is made of Graphite in order to stop bullets that runs him one million dollars, the Bat which is a helicopter with a price tag of sixty million, and the maintaining of the Wayne Manor as well as the Bat Cave which would run six hundred million dollars. All in all, once all vehicles and gadgets are bought, the costume has been completed, the power bill, and Alfred has been cut his paycheck, being Batman would run Bruce Wayne approximately $682,450,750. If you are planning to become the Dark Knight, you might want to start saving now! However, becoming Batman is the cheaper alternative to becoming Iron Man which would run you around $1,612,717,000.
7. One Actor Has Played Batman For Twenty Four Years
Michael Keaton put on the iconic suit and portrayed the Caped Crusader in two movies. Christian Bale took on fear, madness, and hate as the Dark Knight in three separate big screen adventures. Ben Affleck gave us an older version of the Detective in a feature film, made a cameo in a second, just wrapped filming in the UK for a third, and is currently writing and developing a fourth. George Clooney— well we try to forget that. All that said however, you might not even know the name of the man who has spent the most time portraying the Batman because all he uses is his voice. Actor Kevin Conroy holds the record for the most hours as Bruce Wayne and Batman. Conroy started his time voicing the character in Batman: The Animated Series. Since then he has been credited with thirteen animated movies, ten video games, and eight animated television series.
6. Television Has Shaped Batman As Much As Comics
One of the most important things for comic book fans is how closely other media sticks to the reference material. However, some of the token Batman items and people didn’t come from the pages of the comics. The Batcave was originally seen in the films from the 1940s and has been Bruce Wayne’s preferred office ever since. Alfred also got an on-screen makeover going from a heavy goof to the well-versed, fit sidekick he is today. But Alfred’s update and the Batcave are nothing compared to Harley Quinn. A psychiatrist who was seduced and then torched by the Joker and now serves as his faithful sidekick has become one of the most well-known individuals in Batman’s entire rogues’ gallery. Harley’s origin is not from the comics, but instead from Batman: The Animated Series. Harley became so famous that she now has one live action incarnation as Margot Robbie took on the character in Suicide Squad and is in early talks for a standalone Harley Quinn movie. Not too shabby seeing as how some villains that have been around for sixty years have yet to see screen time.
5. Batman Didn’t Always Have A Code
Many fans did not like the fact that Batman pretty obviously killed a lot of people in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This Batman that didn’t seem to have pause about taking a life seemed out of place with what we have come to know as Batman’s code. Bruce has made a vow to never take a life in his fighting crime because if he were to take a life, then he is no better than those he fights. His moral code is one of the traits that sets Batman apart from the majority of heroes. However, Batman wasn’t created with this code in mind. Early on, Batman was more willing to kill if it meant that he would stop something bad from taking place. Batman has killed many individuals throughout the years starting all the way back in Batman #1. Since the formation of the Comics Code, Batman has set his guns aside and uses his mind more than just brute strength to stop criminals.
4. Robin Only Exists Because Of Fans
Characters often come and go in comics, many of which only show up once or twice. Robin was supposed to be this type of character when originally created for Detective Comics #38. The editor of the comic was against Robin being introduced into the universe due the consistent sales the comic was already seeing. Written as a one-off character, Robin’s presence doubled the sales of Detective Comics and quickly became a staple of not only Batman’s story but the DC Universe as a whole. There have been several individuals to take on the role of Robin over the years and many going on to take on new roles such as Nightwing, Red Robin, the Red Hood and the leader of the Teen Titans. Robin also makes Batman more humanized by allowing him to work as a father figure and showing that he does truly care about others. What would the DC Universe be without Robin?
3. Robin Was Killed Off Because Of Fans
Unfortunately, when talking about Robin, one would be remiss to not also mention the death of a Robin. The fans brought him into this world when they flocked to the stands to buy the first issue featuring the young ward, and the fans took him right out when they voted to allow the Joker to end his life. Jason Todd was not the most famous Robin to fight alongside The Dark Knight and the editors took notice. When deciding how to pull Todd from the Robin role, they allowed fans to take control in a vote. In a close call, fans decided to allow Jason Todd to die. Batman took this loss hard and became reluctant to take on any subsequent sidekicks (even though he takes on several more). Batman also beats the Joker ruthlessly while under the influence of Scarecrow’s fear toxin as he hallucinates about Jason’s murder. As with most characters though, Jason Todd didn’t stay dead but in fact returned as the Red Hood.
2. Batman Has An Online Username
If the only version of Batman you have become familiar with is the live action on-screen crime-fighter, you may not know that he is truly a detective. Batman doesn’t just drive around looking for muggings and drug deals but actually spends many hours researching and solving crimes and flexing his mental muscles as much as his biceps (and no, this doesn’t just mean running a decryption software while he takes a nap and dreams about how evil Superman is). This is why he has been named the world’s greatest detective. Any self-respecting detective in this day and age must have a strong online presence to do the research needed to gain evidence and solve crimes. Batman is no different. Let’s just say if you are doing some sketchy underground work on the web and you come across someone named JonDoe297, you should rethink your where you are in life.
1. Commissioner Gordon Has Been Batman
In a recent story arc of the comic books, Bruce hangs up his cowl in order to live a normal life. It quickly becomes glaringly obvious that Gotham can no longer thrive or even exist without the Batman. In order to fill this newly created void, Jim Gordon, with the backing of the Gotham City Police Department and the Gotham City Council, steps up and becomes Batman 2.0. Gordon does lack all of Bruce Wayne’s extensive and intense training so his suit was mechanized in order to compensate and make him the same threat to crime as his predecessor. Either because fans didn’t have the same adoration for Gordon’s Batman, or because writers simply understood that Bruce Wayne can never really live a normal life (because Batman is less of an alias than Bruce and the masked, crime-fighting detective is who he really is), Wayne hastily returned.