Batman, originally referred to as "the Bat-Man" and still referred to at times as "the Batman", is a fictional character, a comic book superhero co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger (although only Kane receives official credit), appearing in publications by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939.
He is additionally known as "the Caped Crusader", "the Dark Knight", "the World's Greatest Detective", or simply "the Bat"; in the original version of the story and the vast majority of subsequent retellings, Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne (named for the historical figures Robert the Bruce and "Mad" Anthony Wayne), a playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist.
He is also an excellent tactician and strategist. Always thinking many steps ahead of his opponent. One would say that this is the reason he has been able to beat Superman, using his mind instead of his brawn to outwit the Man of Steel into his traps. Others might say that this can be seen as paranoia on Batman’s part, like when he built a satellite system to spy on super humans to keep tabs on them or when he had his secret files with ways to take down the Justice League.
All Batman origin stories tend to agree that the character was deeply wounded by witnessing the death of his parents at an early age. In many renditions the murderer was simply a mugger. Tim Burton’s film Batman differs in this respect to suggest it was the Joker who killed Batman’s parents. The loss of Bruce’s parents and the corrupt nature of Gotham City where Bruce lives, makes him seek a way of dispatching villains. Gotham City is often depicted as intensely corrupt in almost every aspect of its society. Not even the police force can be trusted, since many of them are on the take.
Batman’s origin story is the departure point for many different renditions of the character. In initial versions, he’s the inscrutable almost anti-hero, and in others, such as the 1960s television series, he’s a much more levelheaded guy living in a much less corrupt city. The 1960s series leaned heavily on camp, and prompted some to think of killing off the character forever. However, interest in this superhero revived in the 1980s, first with famous graphic novelist Frank Miller’s limited comic book series The Dark Knight Returns and then with the 1989 Tim Burton film. Both Miller and Burton were resolved on dispatching the image of the law-abiding television series superhero to return to his much darker beginnings, though Burton did so with considerable humor.
A series of films followed Burton’s first, most of them lessening in quality. Interest in the character revived and led to several television animated series too. Once again, though, interest in Batman appeared to die off, particularly with the lessening success of the films. However, interest again surged with the 2005 film, Batman Begins, an attempt to restart the series and cast it in possibly its darkest tone as of yet. It focuses much more on Bruce Wayne’s athletic training, search for redemption of his corrupt city, but also on a character that is more morally sound than the Burton films, in some ways echoing the television character of the 60s, minus the camp. For fans of the character, this recreation has been very satisfying, and fans eagerly awaited the sequel to Nolan’s first film, The Dark Knight which premiered in the summer of 2008.