"As a man, I'm flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed. But as a symbol. as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting. " ―Bruce Wayne [src]
Batman is the alias and second identity of billionaire Bruce Wayne. son of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Becoming the Dark Knight, he dedicated himself to protect Gotham City.
Having witnessed his parents' death at the hands of a mugger as a child, Bruce traveled the world as an adult to train and understand the criminal mind in order to combat it. Mentored by Ra's al Ghul. Bruce later returned to Gotham and challenged the city's crime lords, employing unusual weapons and tactics as a mysterious black-garbed crusader. Despite being considered an outlaw by the GCPD. Batman defeated Carmine Falcone and The Scarecrow. and later battled against Ra's al Ghul and his plan to have Gotham tear itself apart through fear.
In continuing to shut down Gotham's organized crime, Batman encountered and defeated the most fearsome of his adversaries, The Joker. while losing his love interest Rachel Dawes in the process. His defeat of Harvey "Two-Face " Dent resulted in Batman going into hiding and taking the fall for Two-Face's crimes in order to maintain Dent's status as Gotham's "White Knight". As a result, Batman became a fugitive and Bruce turned into a recluse, not just as Batman but he also ended contact with associates such as Lucius Fox.
Eight years later, Batman returned to fight the mercenary Bane while entrusting his business and intimacy to Miranda Tate. not knowing that she was actually Talia, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul. After gaining the strength to escape imprisonment. Batman returned to defeat Bane and save Gotham from Talia completing her father's work. Faking his death, Bruce passed on his legacy to John Blake and left Gotham to start a relationship with Selina Kyle.
"Your parents' death was not your fault. " ―Henri Ducard [src]
Bruce Wayne by his murdered parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne.
When he was eight years old, Bruce Wayne fell into a cave where he encountered a swarm of bats. His father rescued him though Bruce developed a fear of bats; his father later told him that though people fall, they always have the strength to get up. During his childhood he also formulated a friendship with Rachel Dawes.
Late one night at a performance of the opera Mefistofele Bruce got frightened by a scene featuring a bat-like monster, and asks his parents to leave. Outside the theater, Bruce's parents were both killed in a robbery by mugger Joe Chill ; Thomas' last words to his son were to not be afraid. Bruce was later found by the police and was comforted by Sergeant James Gordon. and Commissioner Loeb told him they caught Chill. Bruce blamed himself for his parents' murder: had he not been frightened, the Waynes would not have encountered Chill, though the butler Alfred Pennyworth assured him it was no one's fault but Chill's.
Bruce on his travels around the world.
After coming of age, Bruce returned to Gotham City from Princeton University intent on killing Chill, whose prison sentence was being suspended in exchange for testifying against mob boss Carmine Falcone. One of Falcone's henchwomen, however, killed Chill. Bruce told his childhood friend Rachel Dawes about his foiled plan, and she expressed disgust for his blind vengeance without regard for justice. Bruce confronted Falcone, who tells him that he was ignorant of the nature of crime, so Bruce decided to travel the world to understand the criminal mind.
Bruce during his time with the League of Shadows
After nearly seven years, he was eventually detained in Bhutan for theft (ironically of Wayne Enterprises cargo),
where he met Henri Ducard. He invites Bruce to join an elite vigilante group, the League of Shadows, led by Ra's al Ghul. Bruce was freed and traveled to a mountaintop to begin his combat training with the League, who - unbeknownst to Bruce - intended to use him to destroy Gotham. Bruce passed all the League's training, overcoming his childhood phobia in the process, but when ordered to execute a criminal and learning of their plan to destroy Gotham, he turned on the League, destroying their headquarters. Ra's al Ghul died and Bruce rescued an unconscious Ducard from the wreckage and left his mentor at a nearby village.
Becoming the Bat
"I seek … the means to fight injustice. To turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. " ―Bruce Wayne [src]
Bruce as a vigilante before he became Batman.
Bruce Wayne returned to a Gotham City that is mostly ruled by Falcone and begins plotting a one-man war against the corrupt system. He sought the help of Rachel, now an assistant district attorney, and police sergeant Jim Gordon, who consoled him in the aftermath of his parents' murder. After reestablishing his connections to his father's company, Wayne Enterprises, Bruce was able to acquire, with the help of former board member Lucius Fox. a prototype armored car and an experimental armored suit. He also established a secret base in a cave underneath Wayne Manor.
Batman is sprayed with Dr. Crane's hallucinogen.
In his new Batman costume, he disrupted a drug shipment by Falcone and left the mob boss tied to a searchlight, forming a makeshift Bat-Signal. He also disrupted an assassination attempt on Dawes, leaving her with evidence against a judge on Falcone's payroll. While investigating the "unusual" drugs in the shipment, Batman was stunned by sinister psychopharmacologist Dr. Jonathan Crane. who sprayed him with a powerful hallucinogen. Alfred rescued Bruce, who received an anti-toxin developed by Fox. Crane later poisoned Rachel after showing her that the toxin, which was harmful only in vapor form, was being piped into Gotham's water supply. Batman saved her. The police entered Arkham Asylum and arrested Crane while Batman escaped with Rachel. After administering the antidote to Rachel in the Batcave, he gave her two vials of it for Gordon – one for the detective to inoculate himself, and another to mass-produce for the city's population.
During his birthday party in Wayne Manor, Bruce was confronted by a group of League of Shadows ninjas led by Ducard, who revealed himself to be the real Ra's al Ghul, and that the man killed earlier was a decoy. Ra's, who had been conspiring with Crane, planned to destroy Gotham by distributing the toxin undetected via Gotham's water supply and then vaporizing it with a microwave emitter stolen from Wayne Enterprises. Bruce, tricking his guests into leaving, fought briefly with Ra's while the League of Shadows set fire to Wayne Manor. Bruce escaped the inferno with Alfred's help just as the manor is destroyed.
Batman escapes from the poisoned citizens of Gotham.
Batman arrived at the "Narrows" section of Gotham to aid the police in battling psychotic criminals, including Crane, who the League set free from the asylum. Rachel was confronted by but warded off Crane; Batman rescued Rachel when more criminals went after her. Batman reveals his identity to her while leaving Gordon in control of the Batmobile to stop the elevated train that was being used to transport the vaporizer to the city's central water hub. Batman battled Ra's aboard the train, then escaped just as Gordon toppled the elevated line using the Batmobile's missiles, leaving Ra's to crash to the ground with the train.
Lieutenant Gordon. “I never said thank you. ” Batman. “And you'll never have to. ” ―Batman and Gordon conversing after Gordon unveils the new Bat-Signal. [src]