BATMAN: The Dark Knight

BATMAN: The Dark Knight

“He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.” --Seneca
A feature on the World's Greatest Detective, the caped crusader known as The BATMAN. Who he is? What are his abilities?




Who is the BATMAN?
The original and probably the main character associated with this alias is Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered before his eyes when he was just a young lad. After that gruesome event,he vowed that he will dedicate his life in fighting crimes. He is known to the general public as a billionaire industrialist and a notorious playboy, but at night he is known to the criminals all over as the BATMAN. Although he has no superhuman powers, he is one of the world's smartest men and greatest fighters. His physical prowess and technical ingenuity make him an incredibly dangerous opponent.


What are his abilities?
Indomitable Will: Although he has no superhuman powers, BATMAN's unstoppable determination and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. This makes him able to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain.


Intimidation: It is widely known that BATMAN has the ability to instill fear in others, even the people that know him best are intimidated by him.


Interrogation: BATMAN is adept in interrogation techniques, often using law enforcement methods as well as torture, though at times his frightening appearance is enough to get what he needs.


Peak Human Conditioning: Through intense training, specialized diet, and biofeedback treatments, The BATMAN represented the pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes exceeded that of any Olympic level athlete that has ever completed.


Master Acrobat: Proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics.


Martial Arts Master: BATMAN is one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known. He trained in the US for various martial arts for 3 years. He has mastered 127 styles of martial arts including Muay Thai, Escrima, Krav Maga, Capoeira, Savate, Yaw-Yan, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Jujitsu, Ninjitsu, Kendo, Fencing, swordsmanship, Kenjutsu, Kali, Bojutsu, Francombat, Boxing, Kickboxing, Hapkido, Wing Chun, Parkour, Shorin Ryu, Silat, Chin Na, Kyudo, Aikido, Varma Ati, Jeet Kune Do, Shaolin, Ba Gua, Hung Gar, Tai Chi, Kung Fu, and Kenpo. His primary form of combat is an idiosyncratic admixture of Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Muay Thai, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, and Ninjitsu.


Weapons Master: Through his martial arts training, he has become an expert on virtually all types of weaponry. He is an exceptional swordsman as evident in his fight with Ra's al Ghul, his proficiency in jui jitsu can proclaim his swordsmanship skill. Proficient at knife throwing, Escrima, & melee weapons mastery, having mastered Kobudo. He was trained and became proficient in all arms. He soon learned expanded melee weapon techniques and he has learned expanded weapon/device sciences. He still practices during his combat sessions to keep his skills intact, though he prefers unarmed combat.


Master of Stealth: His Ninjitsu training has made him a master at stealth capable of breaching high security facilities with ease and without being detected.


Expert Marksman: Due to his training in Ninjitsu, BATMAN almost never misses his targets, 9/10 times he's succesful.


Genius-Level Intellect: BATMAN is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist, tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds on the planet. Given his lack of superpowers, he often uses cunning and planning to outwit his foes, rather than simply "out-fighting" them.


Polymath: He has studied Biology, Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Mythology, Geography, & History. Gained degrees in Criminal Science, Forensics, Computer Science, Chemistry and Engineering. He has mastered Diverse Environmental Training, Security Systems, and illusion/sleight of hand. He gained even more degrees in Biology, Physics, Advanced Chemistry, and Technology. He has learned Forensic, Medical Sciences, Expanded Computer and Engineering Sciences, and Expanded Device Pool use of personal powered armor and system, database creation on underworld crime bosses, rogue's gallery foes and other supers; improved material sciences for body armor and micro-machinery. Has also learned Advanced New Development in Forensic and Medical Sciences.


Master Detective: He is widely considered as the World's Greatest Detective, capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Human intuition is an unlearnable trait and one of BATMAN's most effective tools. Given any mystery, he can arrive at any conclusions with a fraction of the data.


Multi-lingual: He is able to speak Spanish, French, Latin, German, Japanese, English, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Portuguese, Arabic, Sanskrit, Latin, Hindi, Thai,Kryptonese and possibly more.


Master Tactician and Strategist: He commonly utilizes cunning tactics to outwit his foes. He is an excellent leader and at times commands the Justice League and the Outsiders.


Escapologist: He has been described as second only to Mister Miracle as an escape artist.


Aviation: Has been seen flying the various versions of the Batplanes with ease and flying a helicopter.


Tracking: Trained in hunting techniques by African Bushmen


Master of Disguise: Has mastered the art of disguise and has further learned Expanded Disguise techniques. BATMAN has many aliases he uses to infiltrate the underworld or just to go undercover in public situations. His current aliases are: Matches Malone, Thomas Quigley, Ragman, Detective Hawke, Sir Hemingford Grey, Frank Dixon, Gordon Selkirk, and Mr. Fledermaus, to name a few.


Ventriloquism: BATMAN is able to project his voice to other places.


Expert Mechanic and Vehicular Driver: Proficient at combat driving. Has learned improved vehicle designs. Was trained and proficient in basic vehicles operations.


Peak Human Strength: BATMAN engages in an intensive exercise regimen, and because of this, his strength, like all other physical attributes, is at the peak of human perfection. He is shown to be able to bench-press at least 1000 lbs.


What does he wear?
Batsuit
The costume BATMAN wears is composed by kevlar and a little percentage of titanium; it's bullet-proof and resistant to various types of attack. It's also flame-retarding and insulating. The gloves and the boots are reinforced to rebound the impact of punches and kicks. The gloves have also some metallic blades on their sides. The cape is super-light and it can be used to glide. The mask has a little percentage of lead, which shields the face of BATMAN from x-ray powers or x-ray technology; it has also an infrared viewer and auditory sensors, sonar, night vision,which improve BATMAN's senses. The mask, is also accessorized with some security systems like the utility belt. The mask is also a transmitter receiver of voice and video.


Any additional accesory?
Utility Belt
BATMAN keeps most of his personal field equipment in a signature piece of apparel, a yellow utility belt. The utility belt has a button to call his car, the belt has a button teleportation. Over the years it has contained items such as plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling hook gun, and a "re-breather" breathing device. Superman had entrusted BATMAN with a ring made of kryptonite, to be used should the Man of Steel ever need to be reined in.


Has he change his batsuit?
Of course, he is a billionaire for one thing, if he wants he could change suit everyday, and even have different colored batsuit for different days (What? He already did that? [Detective Comics #241] See, money can buy you everything even a pink batsuit).


The evolution of the batsuit
1. Original depiction (1939)

Bob Kane's original concept of the BATMAN, reportedly, was to wear a red bodysuit with black shorts, black boots and no gloves. He would have a domino mask to hide his identity and would wear stiff, bat-like wings attached to his back. Kane liked this idea of a hero who would lurk in the shadows, seeming like a dangerous creature on first glance. Kane decided that his hero would not possess any supernatural abilities but that he would only appear supernatural at times to his enemies.



Bill Finger, the collaborator of Bob Kane, saw the designs, and he suggested a few changes. A winged cape rather than two stiff, completely separate wings. A horned cowl rather than a domino mask. Gray instead of red. Gloves so he wouldn’t leave fingerprints. And blank eyes to give him a more menacing appearance.


BATMAN's look was unique amongst the costumed crime-fighters of that era. Most were colorful, heroic, and normal "human" looking. While BATMAN was designed to blend in the shadows, with a grotesque looking silhoutte to scare off the criminal lot that he is up against with.


2. Early designs

The early utility belt doesn’t just carry BATMAN’s items. The size and bulk of it imply a weight-lifter’s belt, this drive in the fact that BATMAN is an athlete rather than someone who relies on supernatural powers. During his early adventure the belt buckle is circular, through the years this design will change.


BATMAN’s chest symbol in these early stories is a silhouette of a bat without the head and ears.


After the first issue, we would see Finger's alteration of the cape, from the stiff design to one that is more flowing. This added a Vampiric Appearance to our caped crusader.



BATMAN’s curved ears were then altered, straightened out so that his face had a stronger look now. This also improved his silhouette, making the BATMAN one of the few characters who can be identified the world over simply by his shadow.


Notice the utility belt's buckle, it is now square opposed to the circular one in the beginning. The Utility belt at times would have a rope visibly attached to its side. Later on, the rope was tucked away inside a pouch on the belt. Later still, it was said to wind up on a spool hidden within the buckle. Eventually, BATMAN would simply use grappling guns instead.


BATMAN’s initially wore small purple gloves but was quickly change into large ones that matched the color scheme of the rest of his uniform. This definitely was an improvement. Now the costume is a balanced uniform.



Another thing that you will not see on the modern BATMAN utility belt is a gun, but in his early adventures BATMAN carries a gun, and actually uses them to kill those he considers cannot be imprisoned (monsters, vampires, …) but there were those rare instances that he did kill common criminals.


3. Familiar elements

A year after his first appearance, all the elements of the modern BATMAN is set. We are now introduced to his "gauntlets" with scallops. And we finally get the ears on his bat symbol on his chest.


4. Friendlier BATMAN

Almost a year of evolving to be a dark character, an editor of DC, decided that the scary BATMAN is not a good model for children reading the comics. They decided to lighten him up and make him more family friendly. Enters Robin the Boy Wonder.


Along with this new direction BATMAN's look is altered a little, his bat ears were shortened and his form became broader like a football athlete rather than its previous wiry frame. He tended to stand tall, a more heroic pose rather than being creepily hunched over and wrapped in his cloak.


There were some changes in his costume color tones. Initially, it had been clear that BATMAN wore a black cowl and cloak, with the color blue used to emphasize folds in the fabric and give it a three-dimensional feel. By now though, BATMAN’s mask, gloves and boots seemed to literally be colored blue. Our hero had become a bit brighter. Villains still feared him, but now ordinary citizens knew he was clearly a good guy.


This is the standard costume design for BATMAN during the golden age. This design also gives us these classic alternate costumes.




5. "Classic" BATMAN

Carmine Infantino in 1964 made a familiar change on the bat-symbol on BATMAN's chest. He added a golden circle around the bat. In the 1980s Frank Miller came up with an explanation about the yellow oval, that it is a deliberate target to draw fire to his chest, which has extra armor plating underneath, so his enemies might not think to shoot BATMAN in the head.




6. Year One

In getting Batman back to his darker roots. Most of the "fun" elements were removed and they went back to his earlier days when they focused more on making him scarier. The costume now returned to a darker shade, with only a bat silhouette for a symbol, with a utility belt with pouches instead of the capsules.


7. Tengu

After that famous event of Bane breaking BATMAN's back, Bruce has to rehabilitate. His back restored by an individual with healing powers, he underwent physical therapy and a retraining by Lady Shiva. During this time he wore a standard ninja outfit with a hood. Later on Shiva had Bruce wear a mask of Tengu. In Japanese folklore, tengu were supernatural creatures. Mostly, they were avian in nature, but some of them had distinctly different appearances the mask Bruce wore was based on a tengu that resembled a bat.


8. Losing the shorts

Since his first appearance, Batman like many of the costumed heroes of the 30s and 40s worn a trunk over his costume. This was because they were inspired by circus outfits. In the mid-1990s, many thought that the trunks were a quaint design flaw that didn’t belong in modern-day superhero costumes. Batman during this time experimented with his look and made a new battle suit. The blue was replaced by black and coal gray colors. The bodysuit was now all one piece, with no visible division between boots and gloves. Spikes were added to the boots in a style similar to the gloves. And the shorts were completely gone.


9. Shoulder hooks

Depending on who the artist is, sometimes BATMAN's costume has this shoulder hooks, and he has claws on his gloves.


10. Batman 2000

During the early 2000 Batman, came up with a look that what I felt was a good combination of most of his previous incarnations, as well as his aim of being scary to criminals and look like a traditional superhero to the civilians.


11. Batman Inc.

After Bruce Wayne's "eventful death" [ask a comic book geek what death is like in comics] and his "eventful return" he came up with the idea of Batman Inc. A Batman for every nation sort of thing. During this time he wears a more heavy looking suit, and an embossed yellow oval with black bat silhouette on his chest.


Note: Due to the nature of comicbooks being an on-going tale, Batman's abilities along with his appearance, is in a constant state of flux.


Who have played BATMAN in live media?
1. Lewis Wilson (1943)

seen in:
Batman a 15-chapter serial released in 1943 by Columbia Pictures. The villain of this serial was Dr. Daka which is not based on any comicbook character. The Batman here is a US government agent, attempting to defeat the Japanese agent Dr. Daka, at the height of World War II.


2. Robert Lowery (1949)

seen in:
Batman and Robin (1949) by Columbia Pictures. The plot dealt with the Dynamic Duo facing off against the Wizard, a hooded villain whose identity remains a mystery throughout the serial until the end.


3. Adam West (1966)

seen in:
Batman, often promoted as Batman: The Movie, is a 1966 film based on the Batman television series, and the first full-length theatrical adaptation of the DC Comics character of the same name. Released by 20th Century Fox. The storyline, the archvillains of The United Underworld - The Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler and The Penguin - combine forces to dispose of Batman and Robin as they launch their fantastic plot to control the entire world. From his submarine, Penguin and his cohorts hijack a yacht containing a superdehydrator, which can extract all moisture from humans and reduce them to particles of dust. The evildoers turn the 9 Security Council members in the United World Building into 9 vials of multicolored crystals! Batman and Robin track the villains in their Batboat and use Batcharge missles to force the sub to surface.


Batman is a 1960s American television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network for two and a half seasons from January 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968. The show was aired twice weekly for its first two seasons, resulting in the production of a total of 120 episodes.


4. Michael Keaton (1989)

seen in:
Batman a 1989 superhero film directed by Tim Burton. The film deals with the rise of a costumed criminal known as "The Joker".


Batman Returns (1992). Having defeated the Joker, Batman now faces the Penguin - a warped and deformed individual who is intent on being accepted into Gotham society. Crooked businessman Max Schreck is coerced into helping him become Mayor of Gotham and they both attempt to expose Batman in a different light. Earlier however, Selina Kyle, Max's secretary, is thrown from the top of a building and is transformed into Catwoman - a mysterious figure who has the same personality disorder as Batman. Batman must attempt to clear his name, all the time deciding just what must be done with the Catwoman.


5. Val Kilmer (1995)

seen in:
Batman Forever a 1995 American superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Tim Burton. It is the third installment of the Batman film series and stars Val Kilmer as Batman. The plot focuses on Batman trying to stop Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey) in their villainous scheme to drain information from all the brains in Gotham City. He gains allegiance from psychiatrist Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) and orphaned ward Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell).


6. Batman and Robin (1997)

seen in:
Batman & Robin (1997) The film tells the story of Batman and Robin struggling to keep their partnership together while trying to stop Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane from covering Gotham City with ice and vegetation.


7. Bruce Thomas (2001)

seen in:
"OnStar" commercials which followed the visual style of the 1989-1997 film series.


2002: Birds of Prey, TV series that featured Batman in the first episode. This BATMAN is the father of the show's Huntress.


8. Christian Bale (2005)

seen in:
Batman Begins (2005) the film shows Bruce Wayne's journey in becoming the BATMAN.


The Dark Knight (2008) Batman is operating in Gotham City, he is a feared figure by the criminal underworld. But a new threat rises, a criminal whose main goal is to bring chaos, and he is known as the Joker.


The Dark Knight Rises (2012) After the events of The Dark Knight movie. Batman is being chased by the police. And new faces are introduced into this rich world of Gotham City, Bane and Catwoman, are they friend or foe?




sources: http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Batman_(Bruce_Wayne) : http://blog.newsarama.com/2010/05/21/agent-of-s-t-y-l-e-shadows-of-the-batman/ : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_versions_of_Batman : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_franchise_media : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060153/ : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103776/



Last words: Batman always = Epic Win!



This is the 2nd article in my Know Your CBM Character series. Any requests and suggestions for an article for this series write it down in the comment section BELOW.


Note: Any error in the article above, if any, just blame it on my age, humanity and ignorance. Just be sure to check the comment section for the corrections, any error I made will surely be pointed out and corrected by much bigger geeks (because there will always be a bigger geek out there).

-This has been PollMaster inviting you to the geekside.




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