Batman is a DC Comics character that is one of the most iconic and legendary superheroes. Artist, Bob Kane and writer, Bill Finger, created Batman. He first appeared in Detective Comics #27, in May of 1939. He is often cited as being one of the darkest, most complex and violent superheroes. After witnessing his parent’s death, he swears revenge on all criminals. He dons a mask, a costume and becomes the vigilante, Batman. Over the years, the character has been expanded on by several great writers/artists, including, Jerry Robinson, Dick Sprang, Dennis O’Neil, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Jeph Loeb, Scott Snyder and many more.
Batman has appeared in a number of successful comic book series and graphic novels, such as, Batman, The Killing Joke and The Long Halloween. There was a successful TV series from the 60’s, Batman (1966-1968). Currently, there is a prequel TV series, Gotham (2014). There have been many films, including Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman and Robin (1997), Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and the upcoming, Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Actors that played the role of Batman include, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, David Mazouz and Ben Affleck (in the upcoming Batman). He is one of the most memorable characters and has transcended time. They call him The World’s Greatest Detective, The Dark Knight and The Caped Crusader. Here is a look at 16 Reasons Why Batman is the most Kickass Superhero ever created.
16) He’s A Vigilante
Batman is not the conventional superhero. He has no superpowers and his morals are slightly different than some others. Batman is considered as being a vigilante and detective. He becomes the Caped Crusader to enforce his brand of justice. Often, he must break the law and rules himself, in order to bring a criminal to justice. In some cases, he’s gone beyond normal physical punishment. Batman is often cited as being one of the most complex, violent, disturbed and dark anti-heroes in the DC Universe. He collects information on both his enemies and allies. Many critics point out that many of Batman’s enemies have similar origin stories. They are the product of a tragic event, such as, Mr. Freeze losing his wife. Batman is similar but instead of causing crime he wants to stop it, but he will do just about anything to obtain that justice.
Batman has many friends and allies that help him out. First, there is Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne families’ loyal butler. He is Bruce’s legal guardian and raises him after his parents are murdered. He is aware of Bruce’s secret identity and is a crucial part of Batman’s life. He takes care of Wayne Manor and The Batcave. He provides Batman with first aid, tactical support and has limited medical knowledge. He is a father figure to Bruce/Batman.
Commissioner/Detective James Gordon wants to rid Gotham’s streets of crime as much as Batman does. He is one of the few cops who is not corrupt. It’s implied that if he wanted to, he could figure out Batman’s real identity but chooses not to. He’s been portrayed as completely trusting Batman and also being hesitant to work with him. Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, is the daughter of James Gordon. She is skilled in marital arts and highly intelligent. She is paralyzed by the Joker and later becomes the Oracle. Recently, Barbara has recovered and resumed her role as Batgirl. Lucius Fox is Batman’s business manager and technology expert.
14) Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne is the secret identity of the Dark Knight. Bruce is a wealthy businessman who is the CEO and Chairman of WanyeCorp, an international conglomerate. Bruce is also Gotham’s most eligible bachelor. To avoid suspicion, Bruce pretends to be a dim-witted, superficial womanizer who lives off of his inheritance. He is constantly seen with some of the most beautiful women, to encourage tabloid headlines. Although he does have some romantic relationships, these women mean nothing to him. In reality, he likes to stay up late and watch over his one true love, the city of Gotham. Bruce is involved with several charities and graduated from Yale University, with a degree in law.
Even the dark, disturbed and brooding vigilante needs some loving, too. Bruce Wayne has had many romantic relationships but for the most part, they are short term. In some cases, it seems that he only uses the romantic relationships as a cover and that he’s not interested in love. Other times, it seems that he really does enjoy being, Bruce Wayne, billionaire playboy. He’s dated Vicki Vale, Julie Madison and has a complicated relationship with Talia al Ghul. As Batman, he’s had many love-hate relationships with several villainesses. His most prominent love interest is the equally dark and complicated, Catwoman.
Robin is the trusted and loyal sidekick to Batman. His character is slightly lighter in tone than Batman’s. He was created to help bring in younger readers. He debuted in 1940 and was very well received. The character helped double sales of the comic book series. There have been several characters that were Robin. The most famous is Dick Grayson. Grayson is apart of a family of acrobats at a circus. A gangster murders his parents. Batman then adopts Grayson and he soon becomes Robin. In the comic book series, he retires as Robin and becomes the superhero, Nightwing. This version of Robin has been played in film and TV by Burt Ward and Chris O’Donnell.
The second Robin, Jason Todd, takes over the role after Dick Grayson leaves. The Joker tragically murders Jason Todd. His death haunts Batman but Todd soon returns as a super villain. Others that were Robin include, Carrie Kelly, Stephanie Brown and currently, Tim Drake.
11) The Bat-Signal
The Bat-Signal is the main way that the Gotham City Police Department, specifically Commissioner James Gordon, contacts Batman. They usually use it when they need his help or are in grave danger. It’s also been used as a way to scare and intimidate criminals. It’s a basic searchlight with a Bat Symbol attached to it and projects the Bat symbol into the sky. It first appeared in 1942 but has many different origins. In Tim Burton’s Batman, he gives the Bat-Signal to the Gotham City Police as a present. In Batman Begins, James Gordon makes the signal as a way to summon Batman and scare criminals.
10) The Bat-Suit
The Bat-Suit has appeared in many different variations. He’s inspired to use the bat motif after a bat crashes through the window of his study. He uses the suit to hide his true identity, but also to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. In some versions, Bruce is terrified of bats as a young child and facing his fear serves as motivation. The suit is usually black, grey, blue or a combination with a Bat emblem on the chest. It also includes a cape, a cowl, tights, boots and a utility belt. The suit is bulletproof in certain areas and fire resistant.
9) Rogues Gallery
Rogues Gallery is the plethora of deranged, psychotic and diabolical super villains that Batman does battle with. Batman does everything he can to keep Gotham safe from their evil plans. A majority of his enemies have no super human powers. The villains are considered to be some of the most unique and iconic in the comic book world. Many of them have tragic back-stories that led to their insane criminal ways. Some lost a loved one and some just want to cause mayhem. The villains include, The Joker, Mr.Freeze, The Riddler, Bane, The Scarecrow, Catwoman, The Penguin, Deadshot, Two Face, The Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Ra’s al Ghul and many more.
8) Frenemies With Superman
Batman and Superman are two iconic superheroes who are complete opposites. Superman is the ultimate good guy; he will always do the right thing to obtain justice and never breaks the law. Batman is an anti-hero, who tries to do what’s right but may have to break the law in order to obtain his type of justice. Superman has superhuman abilities, while Batman has none and relies on skill. Even their secret identities are opposites. Clark Kent is a nerdy news reporter and Bruce Wayne is a playboy billionaire. They have an uneasy relationship and sometimes have difficulty working with each other, mostly because of their very different approaches. They respect each other but disagree about their opinions and feelings on justice/crime fighting. The film, Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice will be the first time the two heroes will appear together on the big screen. It will star Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
One of Batman’s most complicated relationships is with Catwoman, aka, Selina Kyle. They have deep romantic feelings for each other. When Catwoman first appeared, she was a highly skilled thief and super villain. However, now she is more of an anti-hero. Batman has many romantic relationships but seems to have a special connection and bond with Catwoman. They have a love-hate relationship and their crime fighting/criminal ways seems to get in the way. They will often work together. The relationship also tends to be highly sexual. Traditionally, she wears a full body suit, or cat suit. Her favorite weapon of choice is a whip. Catwoman has appeared in TV and several films portrayed by, Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway and Carmen Bicondova.
6) The Batcave/Wayne Manor
Wayne Manor is a large mansion that is just outside Gotham City. It’s the residence of Bruce Wayne and has been in the Wayne family for decades. Beneath Wayne Manor is The Bat Cave, which is the secret headquarters of Batman. In most versions, Bruce discovered the Batcave as a child when he fell through an old well. As an adult, he converts the caves into his secret layer. There are many secret entrances. The most common is through a grandfather clock in the main study. There is also an exit for the Batmobile. The cave contains one of the world’s greatest supercomputers, the bat-computer. It also contains a gym, a trophy room, a crime lab, medical facilities, a large hanger for various bat vehicles and of course, bats.
5) The Dark Origin Story
Batman is known for having one of the most tragic and dark origin stories. As a young boy, Bruce Wayne is witness to the gruesome and brutal murder of his parents, Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne. In most versions, his parent’s killer is never caught. Being a witness to these events and the aftermath, deeply affected Bruce. He was haunted by the death of his parents. As a young child, he vowed that he would rid Gotham of criminals and defend the city, in honor of his parents. When he’s older, he travels the world learning all forms of martial arts and other forms of fighting. Batman Begins depicts Batman being a member of the League of Shadows and being trained by Ra’s al Ghul. He then returns to Gotham and becomes the Caped Crusader, Batman.
4) The Utility Belt
One of Batman’s most important tools is his utility belt. The belt contains several bat themed weapons that he uses to catch criminals and fight crime. The belt is a long strap that has 10 cylinders on the outside. Tim Burton’s Batman introduced a motor, which enables cylinders to move from the back to the front when he needs them. It contains batarangs, which line the inner part of the belt. In fact, the batarang was his first weapon that he used when it debuted in 1939. It also contains a tiny bat camera, a bat stun gun, bat smoke pelts and a grapple gun known as the batclaw. The belt also has a bat security system that only Batman knows how to unlock.
3) The Joker
What makes a hero such a great hero is having a great villain to battle against. Arguably, Batman’s greatest nemesis is the deranged, psychopath, The Joker. His basic origin story is that, he was once a petty criminal who either jumps or falls in a vat of chemicals to escape Batman. This changes his hair green, skin white and he resembles a joker from the playing cards. In The Dark Knight, he tells various unreliable origin stories about himself. He has a twisted sense of humor, enjoys causing chaos and blowing things up. The Joker is responsible for paralyzing Batgirl and for killing the second Robin, Jason Todd. Some critics feel that The Joker will never actually kill Batman and that he desires his attention. In some ways, Batman and Joker complete each other. The Joker has appeared in several films and TV portrayed by, Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto, who is set to play the Joker in the upcoming film, Suicide Squad.
2) The Batmobile and Other Forms Of Bat-Transportation
When he’s not gliding through the dark sky or lurking in the shadows, Batman’s main mode of transportations is his car, the Batmobile. When first introduced in 1939, it was a simple red convertible. Over time it has become much more defined, yet there are several different versions. It’s usually black and has a bat theme. It’s armed with several gadgets, such as, bat-scope, link to bat-computer, bat speed booster, bat smoke bombs, bat-phone and more. In Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, it resembles a massive tank. He has several other Bat themed ways of getting around. These include, the Bat-plane, Bat-boat, Bat-cycle and Bat-Sub. There is a good chance he doesn’t use a Bat-Bus Pass.
1) No Superhuman Powers, Just An Ordinary Man
He’s not an alien and wasn’t bitten by a spider; he’s just an ordinary man. An ordinary man that is wealthy, a genius and trained in every possible martial art, but still he’s just a man. He has no special superhuman powers, like being able to fly, but is highly skilled and intelligent. He can glide through the air like a bat with the help of his equipment. Having no superpowers helps set Batman apart from the rest. He relies heavily on his intelligence, detective skills and fighting abilities. He’s in amazing physical condition and can withstand a great amount of physical punishment; including having his back broken. He never gives up and never, ever, quits. He will always get back up after being knocked down. He is trained in Jujutsu, karate and judo. His vast wealth also makes it possible for him to have some of the coolest equipment and gadgets, such as the Batmobile.
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