Batman: The Dark Knight of Gotham City
When the bat signal appears in the night sky over Gotham City, billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne dawns the cape and cowl of one of the most recognized comic book heroes in the world to become his famous alternate identity- the Batman. With a plethora of utilities, accessories, weapons, vehicles, and a hidden cave hideout beneath his mansion, Batman goes to war with some of the most infamous super criminals of all time. Killer Croc, The Riddler, The Penguin, and Batman’s arch nemesis The Joker are all out to do in Gotham City’s most prolific protector in some of the greatest battle sequences ever put on the pages of DC comics.
Making his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in May of 1939, Batman was created and brought to life by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. In his first appearance Batman was already a fully formed hero of the night, defending the innocent people of Gotham against a myriad of super villains, but as told in Detective comics #33 Bruce Wayne was not always the strong caped crusader he was introduced to us as. Born the son of Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce lives a happy and privileged childhood at Wayne Manor until one night at the age of eight when returning home from the theater with his parents (after seeing the film The Mark of Zorro, another masked hero on which Batman is based) they are viciously gunned down by a petty thief in front of Bruce. That night while laying in bed Bruce vows his life to fighting crime. When a bat flies in his open window Bruce takes it as a sign and begins the intense physical and intellectual training that would lead to his becoming Batman.
Throughout the next seventy years, the story of Batman would be told time and time again, adding multiple layers to the character, and teaming him up with several partners such as Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl as well as serving as the leader, and in some stories founder, of The Justice League of America. Batman was transformed into perhaps one of the most famous superhero television shows of all time in 1966 with Adam West playing the title role. Though the 60’s batman was full of campy fun, in 1989 when Batman got the Hollywood treatment, director Tim Burton introduced a grittier more violent version of the hero to audiences worldwide. Burton’s original Batman movie went on to spawn three sequels Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin, and is generally the basis for the modern batman character.
Today, Batman is bigger than ever with a re-launched line of comics under DC’s New 52 title, as well as a successful line of video games based on the character, the Arkham Asylum series, and the star of a very successful reboot film franchise directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne and Batman. In 2016 Batman will co-star with long time rival and friend Superman in a superhero showdown for the ages, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. For over seventy years the story of Bruce Wayne and his alternate identity has continued, and with Batman hype stronger now than ever, the bat signal is sure to be shining in the skies of Gotham for a long time to come.