Part One
Marvelous, Fantastic Heroes


A graphic of the Batman family tree is available.

The subject of this section does not have any "super" powers yet in many ways he is the most super hero of them all. Batman is perhaps the most extraordinary of the subjects in this survey in that he has fought and successfully defeated super powered villains and monsters without any special powers of his own. Batman does not even have the beneficial mutations of the Wold Newton family [1] that the heroes as Doc Savage, Tarzan or even the Spider possessed. Bruce Wayne was in many ways the epitome of what a human could become with focused self-discipline. This is not to say that he did not possess the gifts of genius or a genetic heritage of health and fitness but these traits were the result of natural selection rather than the result of mutation.

The child of a wealthy physician and a society debutante, Bruce Wayne had a happy, affluent childhood until he saw his parents murdered before his eyes by a laughing gunman. His childhood ended when his parents were buried. It was then that his life long crusade against crime began. Using his wealth he subjected himself to a regime of training with which James Clarke Wildman sr. would have been pleased. Bruce Wayne became a master detective as well as one of the world's greatest masters of martial arts.

Despite Bruce Wayne's focus on learning the skills and crafts he thought he needed to fight crime, when the time came to start his career, he was at a loss as to how about going to do it. Although there had been costumed vigilantes before him, Bruce Wayne had thought them rather silly. Yet he realized that the costumed identity allowed the vigilante to do things he could not do undisguised. When a bat crashed through his window, he saw it as an omen. A bat was frightening to most people, it was a creature of the night and like justice it was blind.

After designing and donning the Bat-Man costume, Bruce Wayne carried a gun for a few cases and even used it on occasion. He finally decided that using a firearm and the taking of life was too much of a temptation. He did not want to sink to the level of a trigger-happy murderer, like his contemporary The Spider. Although Bruce Wayne had fully intended to embark on his quest for justice alone and had steeled himself to carry out his mission with an intense dispassionate focus, he could not fully control his emotions. Taking his inspiration from the Zorro character he made the public Bruce Wayne a business savvy, flamboyant playboy. In carrying out this pretense, he fell in love with a young woman named Julie Madison and found himself engaged. Had Bruce Wayne not gotten seriously involved with a woman, it is possible that his driven dedication would have turned him into the obsessed vigilante he is portrayed in books and films of the present era.

Another mediating factor was that he took on a partner and son; something he would never had dreamed of doing.

In late 1939 while Batman was investigating the activities of a protection racket run by a mysterious Boss Zucco, his investigation lead him to the Haley Circus, or as we should call it by its true name the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus. He discovered that John and Mary Grayson, the star high wire act, had been murdered when their trapeze rigs had been tampered with. This was an example of how far Boss Zucco was willing to go to make his point.

The circus owner caved into his demands after that.[2] Dick Grayson overheard the conversation between the circus owner and the representative of Boss Zucco. Batman saw the young man hop onto the back of the car of the crooks carrying away the payoff. He followed discreetly. The men in the roadster made a couple of other stops and noticed their stowaway. They began to manhandle Dick Grayson and had finally decided to kill him when Batman interfered. Batman made the crooks flee the scene but lost them when he attended to the boy. Batman asked Grayson what he had planned to do. Grayson said was going to trail the crooks to Boss Zucco and tell the police where he was located.

This boy whose parents had been killed by criminals struck a resonate chord with Batman. He also had an idea of the boy's skills having seen his performances. Bruce was slightly acquainted with him, Dick Grayson having aided Bruce Wayne against some thugs at the World's Fair. He explained to the Grayson that unfortunately, Boss Zucco was one of those criminals who left very little solid evidence that could be traced to directly to him. He was regarded as a pillar of the community so there had to overwhelming evidence to get the police to investigate claims against him. Grayson's efforts would only make him a target for Boss Zucco's organization.

Batman agreed to train the boy to teach him the skills necessary to fight crime in general while he learned enough to gather evidence against Boss Zucco. Dick Grayson became more than a mere student, he became his partner and eventually his adopted son. The adoption probably took place in the mid-forties after Bruce Wayne had married Julie Madison.

According to the comic book history Boss Zucco was eventually exposed and incriminated and died in the electric chair. Actually Boss Zucco was shot and killed by one of his henchmen, manipulated into the act by Nero Wolfe. Boss Zucco was in reality, Adolphus Zecchino who ran up against Sherlock Holmes circa 1892.[3] He later moved to the United States and began using the name Arnold Zeck. It was in this guise Zucco crossed swords with Nero Wolfe.[4]

Dick Grayson adopted the nom de guerre Robin. In accord with his circus tradition he chose a costume that was colorful and bright which made a perfect counterpoint to Batman's dark outfit.  The colorful costume made Robin's opponents underestimate his abilities. Robin battled crooks and their henchmen with a cheery brashness that was in part because he was a child and in part of his heritage.

In addition to fighting routine crimes, Batman and Robin also fought villains, warped in mind and body. Like many of these individuals they tended to become obsessive-compulsive monomaniacs, focusing on one aspect of their personality and letting that become the guiding principle in their lives. They also tended to focus their hatred and thoughts of revenge on one person or groups of persons. Batman and Robin became the lucky recipients a number of individuals just like Bruce Wayne's cousin, Dick Tracy[5] was the object of obsessive hatred by a gallery of rogues, as Superman was the obsession of Toyman, The Prankster, etc.

First and foremost was the Joker. There have been a few origins of the Joker given in the comics and film stories and some hit very close to the mark. The Joker's was Joseph Napier [6] he was a highly intelligent and physically strong man who never applied himself to either scholarly pursuits or manual labor. He instead became an entertainer, his act was singing and comedy; not spectacular- but not bad either. He was able to gather enough of a following in the 1920's to have a career working in the speakeasies and blind pig nightclubs. Joe was full of himself, he thought he was smarter and slicker than anyone around him. He signed contracts to play at clubs and when he was bored he would bolt to another. Since mobsters owned the clubs, he arranged to get protection from his new boss every time he bolted. Among the many reasons that he bolted was that he would skim cash, mess around with the molls and blab the bootlegger's business. Joe's luck ran out while up north playing in clubs run by a Boston based mobster, Tom Powers.

This was circa 1928. Tom Powers discovered Joe talking to a rival, while mocking the Boss. Tom Powers decided to show that he was not an object of ridicule. Inspired by the current film, The Man Who Laughed, Powers ordered that Joe have his mouth and cheeks slashed and cut to form a permanent grin. His voice box was punctured. He was then dropped in a powerful bleaching solution that removed all of the pigment from his skin and hair. When Joe amazed the Boss by living through his ordeal he dumped him in the harbor.

Joe Napier had a surge of strength as he lay on a dock. He wrested a gun away from a gunman and blasted away. He managed to wound Powers and two of his henchmen. Joe Napier was convicted of manslaughter and sent to Shawshank prison. After a month or so he was almost killed by poisoning. Large amounts of copper sulfate had been added to his food. Although he lived through the poisoning his hair and nails began to grow in a bright green shade but no one could ever explain this inexplicable event other than it had something to do with the high copper content of his body. His stay at Shawshank was a living nightmare, his grotesque appearance and physically weak body made him a primary target of the "sisters", a group of inmates who took great pleasure in beating and raping weaker inmates. Joe Napier died in Shawshank- and the Joker was born. It may have been the hideous experiences of his life coupled with the toxicity of the copper in his system than turned Joe Napier into a full-blown psychopath. His intelligence turned to mad genius and he created a highly toxic gas that left its victims grinning in rictus. Why he came to Gotham and why he chose Batman as his nemesis has yet to be determined.

Although Batman and Robin easily thwarted the Joker's first caper, it created another lifelong nemesis of Batman. The prosecutor for the state's case against the Joker was Harvey Kent, a descendant of Philip Kent[7] and a very distant one of the prize winning journalist. During the trial the Joker sprayed Kent's face with a trick flower filled with acid. A glass of water thrown on his face to neutralize the acid had the effect of broadening the affected areas. The powerful acid scarred the left side of Kent's face, although this scarring was not the clear cut demarcation depicted in the comic books, it did have the effect of half of Kent's face grotesquely scarred and the other as handsome as before.

Harvey Kent developed schizophrenia or had a pre-existing disassociative disorder. There is some evidence to suggest that even prior to his scarring that Kent lead a very compartmentalized life, having sets of friends who were totally unaware of each other and having a secret life of gambling and vice under an alias.

Harvey Kent became Two-Face and in this instance the comics were about on the money. He did indeed dress in clothes that were half rags and half expensive cloth and he flipped a scarred coin to decide important issues.

The third grotesque in Batman and Robin's gallery of rogues was the Penguin. Oswald Cobblepot was a failed ornithologist. He had been kicked out of college because he had run a fencing operation out of his dormitory room. Although Oswald affected an English accent he was in fact from Massachusetts, near the environs of Innsmouth. Oswald was left an orphan after his father had disappeared in the Antarctic circa 1923 and had turned to crime to make ends meet. He was a short roly-poly man with flat broad feet almost flipper like, his hands were also malformed, his fingers flat and spatulate having a slight webbing between them. Because of his waddling walk, his flipper like fingers and his high pitched croaking voice children had called him the Penguin.

He turned the hated nickname into a named to be respected or at least feared in the criminal world. Oswald dressed as a man of substance wearing a tuxedo, top hat, cane or umbrella.  Although mainly a fence, Oswald did plan and execute some very elaborate heists. He was known for not using deadly force unless absolutely necessary to achieve the objective. He however did not refrain from using deadly force against those who tried to double deal or short shrift him.

Another scholar turned villain was the frightening Jonathan Crane, also known as The Scarecrow. He had developed a gas that would unleash a person's worst nightmares and used this to blackmail several prominent citizens. Jonathan Crane was a practicing Psychologist and a Professor of Psychology at Gotham University. He used his position to gain access to people's homes.

Another major villain to bother Batman and Robin was The Catwoman. The comics originally portrayed her as a shapely blond jewel thief infatuated with Batman. She was later portrayed as a dark haired jewel thief with an infatuation for Batman. This was closer to the truth. Selina Kyle was in fact named Khefretari, a Coptic-African from the lost city of Memnon, one of surviving relics of Ancient Egypt in the world.[8] Batman had first met her in 1938 when she had stolen several objects from the Gotham Museum of Natural Science and History. These were artifacts stolen from her city by a shady relic hunter named Dent. Batman and a visiting Lord Greystoke returned with Khefretari to prevent Dent from looting her city. There had been undeniable attraction and the quick blossoming of romance between Batman and Khefretari but each had their own path to follow. When Batman had last seen Khefretari she was Regent of the city of Memnon and he had vowed never to marry. Yet remembering the relationship that existed between Jane and Tarzan had unconsciously influenced Bruce when he had started falling in love with Julie Madison.

A lot had happened in the year between when Bruce Wayne and Khefretari had parted company. He had acquired a wife and a partner and she was no longer Regent of Memnon, her brother having returned from being educated abroad and having achieved suitable age to assume the duties of Pharaoh. He had charged her to retrieve all of the artifacts stolen from Memnon. Since for the most part secret lost cities from Ancient Egypt do not usually have foreign embassies or diplomatic relations, Khefretari was forced to become a thief for most of these artifacts were held for by museums, private collectors and universities. If she could barter for one she would but she was not above stealing to get the artifacts back.

She adopted Selina Kyle,[9] a name to better fit in with the western world but even so her ethnicity and skin color were still remained barriers. It was because she was African she was often denied access to the offices or boardrooms of the institutions that held the artifacts. She later learned to disguise herself using make-up to appear as a dark skinned Caucasian or Latin. It is because of her ethnicity that even while gathering together a "gang”, that is hiring professional thieves to partake in robberies, she would wear a full mask shaped like a cat's head and full gloves equipped with claws. She did often have pet cats which was not unusual given her Egyptian background. She also rescued big cats that were being abused when she heard about them, using funds to have them relocated to zoos or returned to their natural environments.

As long as she stole objects that had belonged to Memnon, Batman looked the other way but when she stole objects to be used as barter to acquire other pieces he felt compelled to stop her. He underestimated her willingness to fight back against him and was caught in a net. While he was entangled she kissed him. A powerful and undeniable attraction still existed between them.

Although nothing happened between Bruce and Selina, the rumors of a romance between Batman and The Catwoman did cause a strain on his marriage. An additional strain was the activities of a woman who called herself the Batwoman. Like the Catwoman she had an infatuation with Batman, although she did not know his identity. The Batwoman would show up at crime scenes and "help" out. Batman considered her an interfering pest and was able to stop her activities when Robin revealed that he recognized her from his circus days. Robin's revelation of her identity made Batman a bit uneasy, for he had felt some attraction for her. She was his second cousin from his mother's side of the family. Batman threatened to expose Batwoman as Kathy Kane unless she quit.

Julie Madison's film career as Portia Storm was slowing down in the mid-forties it was this reason and the appearances of these costumed temptresses that caused her to put her film career on hold and become more of a homebody, playing the role of a socialite's wife.

Batman and Robin fought the major villains listed above several times between 1939 and 1942. By this time the Second World War was an ongoing concern and Robin was growing up. Batman concentrated his attention on saboteurs or on home front war profiteers. A few times he was sent to Europe as a freelance operative working for the OSS.[10] During this time Robin worked solo or with a new member of the Batman family, Bat-Girl. Bat-Girl had come to be an adventurer by accident. She had been going to a costume party dressed in a costume based on Batman's when she stumbled across a robbery being committed. One of the robbers thought she was a vigilante and attacked her.

Defending herself she defeated the robber and stopped the robbery. She had training in gymnastics, dancing and fisticuffs and so devised a unique fighting style. Although Robin resented her intrusions at first, he soon saw the benefits of having a partner. He offered to train her and she jumped at the chance. A strong physical and emotional attraction arose between the teenaged Robin and the Bat-Girl.

Bat-Girl would prove to be none other than Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon.[11] She had just recently returned to Gotham city upon the death of her mother. She proved to be a definite asset to the team much more so that the amateur Batwoman. During the 1943-45 period while Batman was working with likes of Blackhawk, the Unknown Soldier and Sgt. Rock, Robin and Bat-Girl did what they could to keep the streets of Gotham city free of crime.

In 1945 with the war winding down, Batman once again took more direct involvement with the crime situation in Gotham City working solo or with Robin and the Bat-Girl. Batman and Robin were involved in two cases in 1945, which had lingering consequences. They worked with Captain America and his partner Bucky against the Joker and the Nazi, The Red Skull. Robin and Bucky formed a life long friendship.[12] At the conclusion of this case The Joker ended up in a Russian gulag. His hatred for the Batman family increased tenfold.

For the next two years Batman and Robin with the occasional help of Bat-Girl fought a variety of menaces to Gotham City and Metropolis. The friendship between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent had solidified as the two married couples found it easier to relate to one another because of their shared secrets. Dick Grayson was also considered a part of this extended family. Julie Madison confided in Lois that she was less than enthralled that Bruce had continued his extracurricular activities. Julie found her home life a bit stultifying. Julie had thought that their life together would have been more exciting, with more travel to exotic locales.

Lois urged Julie to discuss these problems with Bruce but Julie believed it would be too distracting for Bruce and in his line of work distraction could have meant death.

After Dick Grayson entered Columbia University in the fall of 1947, he found little time for activities as Robin, although he did on occasion help Batman. Batman worked mostly alone but sometimes had the assistance of Bat-Girl, although this stopped two years later when Barbara also began attending college.

With Dick out of the house, Julie Madison had hoped that Bruce and she would spend more time together. They did so at first. As if inspired by Lois Lane's birth of a child in late 1949, Julie Madison Wayne conceived. Bruce Wayne jr. was born in mid 1950. Although Julie was a devoted and loving mother she suffered from a severe case of post partum depression, which lead to larger problems in the Wayne marriage. She blamed Bruce for giving up her career as an actress. Julie felt stifled in her marriage. Julie was also quite jealous when Bruce became depressed at the news that Selina Kyle had voluntarily surrendered to the police. Because of her forthcoming confession and pleading of no contest to most of the charges arraigned against her, Selina Kyle was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

In 1951, Julie Madison feeling increasingly suffocated as a socialite wife and as a mother, began a career in modeling over Bruce Wayne's objections. After a year of this exposure, she once again began receiving film offers and she revived her career as Portia Storm. Despite her beauty and charm, Julie Madison was not a talented actress and most of her work was confined to b-movie roles. However she enjoyed her new freedom and filed for divorce from Bruce Wayne in 1952. Bruce retained primary custody of Bruce Jr. at the mother's request.

Bruce and Alfred Beagle raised Bruce with some input from Julie; there was however a female presence in Wayne Manor provided by Dick Grayson's elderly great-aunt Harriet who had fallen on bad times. Bruce invited her to stay at Wayne Manor until she could get on her feet, fully expecting her to live out the rest of her life there.

Bruce adventures as Batman began to take him farther from Gotham city, albeit reluctantly. He visited Spain, the American Mid-West and Southwest, South America and Asia. Attempting to take advantage of Bruce's emotional state upon the break up of his marriage, an international master criminal began a plan to recruit Batman into his organization, believing that his intellect, tenacity and physical prowess made him a prime candidate to perhaps even one day lead the organization.

The international criminal was from the East, a man who was said to possess the secrets of immortality, a man of corruption and honor, a master manipulator whose plans always seem to be undone by the lesser intelligent. A man bent on world conquest but was willing to achieve his goal slowly and methodically. He was a man who thought nothing of using a combination of drugs and hypnosis to make his daughter fall madly in love with a man she had never met. The comic book stories of Batman call this master villain Ras Al Ghul, The Lord of the Demons.[13]

Ras Al Ghul had begun manipulating events shortly after the separation of Julie Madison and Bruce Wayne. In 1952 Bruce Wayne and Batman went to Spain for the purposes of investigating a series of accidents that plagued a film that Wayne Inc. was funding. The murderous plot behind the mayhem was Heinrich Franz, a descendant of the "Enemy Ace," Hans von Hammer.

In reality Heinrich Franz had been "programmed" to commit these acts in the hopes that it would bring Bruce Wayne or the Batman to the film set. It was a small matter for Bruce Wayne's food to be drugged and for him to believe he had a sexual dream about his separated wife. In truth however it was Talia, Ras Al Ghul’s daughter who visited Bruce Wayne that night and slept with him, leaving him with a posthypnotic suggestion that it had all been a dream about Julie.[14]

Ras Al Ghul engineered the encounter with the hopes of creating a heir to his empire, an heir that would combine the superb intellect, physique and fighting abilities of Wane with those of the incredible genius of Dr. Fu Manchu Ras Al Ghul’s daughter Talia was not the physical offspring of Ras Al Ghul but rather of Fu Manchu. Ras Al Ghul had been given the female infant to raise as part of an agreement in which Ras Al Ghul gave Fu Manchu some tomes containing arcane lore. Talia or Te Liu’s mother was also descended from a group of superlative fighters. Ras Al Ghul believed that that Wayne's abilities coupled with Fu’s legacy as well as Te Liu's mother's heritage would produce a formidable fighter, a veritable killing machine that could possibly surpass those so-called Masters of Sinanju.[15]

Unfortunately Te Liu did not conceive of child, although she did fall in love with Bruce Wayne. She readily acquiesced to her father’s plans to use her as an instrument to seduce him into their organization.

From 1953 to 1955 Ras Al Ghul tried to bring Batman into his organization, wishing him become his heir and aid in Ras Al Ghul plans rather than attempting to thwart them.

Despite a strong but strange attraction to Te Liu, (possibly brought on by his unknowing encounter with her) Bruce would have nothing to do with Ras Al Ghul’s schemes. Te Liu's attempts to seduce him in fact made his thoughts turn to another exotic beauty from his past, his first love and perhaps his true love, Selina Kyle. He began to correspond with her during her prison stay. Selina told Bruce that the reason she had voluntarily surrendered to the police for her thefts was because she loved him. She knew that she would never be fully respected by Bruce Wayne unless she atoned for her crimes. Since she had finished retrieving the objects stolen from her homeland by the relic hunter Dent she needed to end her career. Even though at the time she had gone to prison it had seemed even less likely that she and Bruce would ever be together.

When Selina Kyle was released from prison in 1955, Bruce Wayne was there to greet her. He offered her a job as Chief of Security at Wayne Inc, feeling that her skills at breaking into buildings could be used to keep others out. Working in close proximity kindled a long burning passion and in a few months, Bruce Wayne shocked the world by marrying the ex-jewel thief Selina Kyle. The union was deemed even more shocking because of her ethnicity, which she no longer made any attempt to hide.

The marriage of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle caused a bit of a rift between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne because in his eyes she was a convicted felon. Instead of returning to Wayne Manor, Dick Grayson stuck out on his own forming a law partnership with Horace Cranston, a relative of socialite Lamont Cranston. Dick Grayson married his long time girlfriend Barbara Gordon in 1955 a few months before Bruce had married Selina Kyle.

shortly after her marriage Barbara Grayson became a mother, giving birth to Angela Grayson in 1956. Bat-Girl retired for a while and Barbara concentrated on her career as a librarian.

Bruce Wayne continued to fight crime as a solo act during this tumultuous time, although he was training Bruce Wayne jr. to become the second Robin when he became old enough. Bruce sustained quite a few injuries from 1955 to 1961, although he had curtailed some but not all of his activities after his daughter Helena had been born in 1957.

In 1961, Bruce Wayne decided to end his career as Batman. He made an effort to reconcile with Dick, which turned out to be much easier than he thought it would be. Marriage, fatherhood and the birth of an adoptive sister had changed Dick's mind about Bruce's marriage to Selina Kyle. Bruce informed Dick that he was going to hang up the cowl, he was just too old and beat up to function as a costumed vigilante anymore. He wanted Dick to become the next Batman

Bruce Wayne moved into the public arena, he had, despite knowing of the man's flaws, helped get John F. Kennedy elected. He believed that the other guy was an even worse choice for the country. Because of his business acumen and his wide knowledge on a variety on subjects, Bruce Wayne was asked to participate in several committees on civil rights, education, technological progress and finance. He became a good friend of the young politician from Boston and in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated, Bruce Wayne attempted to get to Dallas to find the assassin.

His investigation into the assassination was roadblocked at every turn. He became convinced that the all his years of going after the small time criminals had been a waste when there were much bigger and deadlier criminals still at large. A lone vigilante could not touch those crooks so ensconced in the web of power and prestige. Bruce Wayne resolved to find a way to go after those criminals who thought they were protected because of their position and rank in society. Bruce was going to fight crime in a different manner. He threw his hat in the ring and ran as an independent for Jim Gordon's recently vacated Police Commissioner post. Jim Gordon had suffered a stroke that had made him loose the mobility in his hands and had affected his speech center.

Bruce felt that he could do a better job is opponent's could or would do. He withstood a smear campaign and won out. Batman once again had a police commissioner he could trust.

Batman (II) and Bat-Girl were partners until Bruce Jr. was of age to become the next Robin.

Dick became the second Batman in late 1961. Bruce Wayne Jr. also joined the action as the second Robin in 1962. They fought an aging Joker, Two-Face and The Riddler as well as newer villains such as Kirk Langstrom the Man-Bat.[16] Another relatively new villain was Mr. Hyde although he was labeled as the Blockbuster in the comic book stories from the company licensed to carry stories of the Batman.[17] They had to deal with second generation villains as well, Oswald Cobblepot Jr., who was just as slick as his father, and another woman who called herself the Catwoman[18].

Although she did not venture out too often, Barbara Grayson juggled motherhood, her career as a librarian and her secret life as costumed adventurer, although by 1964 she was calling herself Batwoman.

In 1965 Captain America was found and thawed out by Batman II and Robin II.

Although Barbara's appearances were few and far between, another member of the Batman family appeared in 1966, defying her parents wishes that she become involved n the family's secret business. Having discovered the family secret when she was quite young, Helena Wayne wanted to practice and train with her older brother. Bruce and Selina hoped by allowing her to train with the incipient Robin, that Helena's desire to become a costumed vigilante would be tempered by the extreme amount of hard work and study that they insisted upon. She was her parents' child however and excelled at both. They finally agreed that she could become the new Bat-Girl when she became twelve. She designed a costume and began fighting crime on her own at the age of nine. The newspapers dubbed the reported exploits of this diminutive crime fighter as Bat-Mite.

Bruce and Selina Wayne quickly put an end to the career of Bat-Mite. Helena Wayne became the newest Bat-Girl in 1970. Her parents made her wait a full year past their original date as a punishment. Bruce Jr. had gone to Harvard to get a degree in finance and so Dick Grayson was primarily a solo Batman, although he found himself being involved in cases that took him all over the world. Bat-Girl, Batwoman and other costumed vigilantes took up the slack. In one celebrated case Batwoman and Bat-Girl defeated one of the Joker's nefarious schemes. He vowed revenge.

Ras Al Ghul also made some appearances during the career of the second Batman, although he continued to try and recruit Bruce Wayne, made a few half hearted attempts to recruit Dick Grayson. They were inconsequential to his larger plans, if they wished to join him he would be pleased, if they did not he could crush them at his leisure.

Bruce Wayne served as New York City's commissioner of Police for nearly ten years from 1964 to 1973. In 1973, he was asked by President Nixon and to become the Director of CIALD.[19] Nixon was impressed with Wayne's conviction rate and his tough stance on crime. Bruce Wayne accepted the assignment in part to carry on his friend's Nick Fury’s legacy[20]. This position also gave him a chance to work closely with his friend Steve Rogers again. It also allowed Bruce to help train and guide young talent. Mainly he took the position because this government post would allow him investigate and exact justice on those criminals that had been previously untouchable because of their power, prestige or ability to cover their tracks. Bruce Wayne acquired an ability of working behind the scenes and coordinating events so that justice would often come about in the most unusual ways.

Although it cannot be proven one of Bruce's first actions, as Director of CIALD may have been to bring down the man who had hired him by leaking information to the newspapers.

In the wake of the Watergate Scandal, Steve Rogers took a leave of absence as Captain America. It was Bruce who suggested that Joel Kent be tapped to fill in during Rogers' absence.

In 1973 Bruce Wayne jr. married Kara Kent tying the two major “super” families together by marriage. Kara was currently a television feature reporter and also often aided the citizens of Gotham and Metropolis in her guise as Supergirl.

Between 1977 and 1979, the Batman family was struck with series of tragedies that were orchestrated by Te Liu, the daughter of Ras al Ghul. Ras Al Ghul had tired of attempting to recruit them and so decided to demonstrate his ability to inflict upon them wounds that would never heal.

In mid-1977 an old henchman of hers, now a minor crime boss in New Jersey contacted Selina Wayne. He had photographic proof that several years past during her criminal career, Selina had killed a police officer using her claws. He would give her the evidence if she would steal a particular piece of jewelry for him. He wanted The Green Dragon. If she did not cooperate the picture would end up in the hands of the newspapers and the police. He had sent her a copy of the photo and it looked genuine although she knew it to be a fake. Still the scandal could have hurt the family.

Selina Wayne broke into the Asian Antiquities house where the Green Dragon was on display. She removed it from its case and climbed onto the roof where she met the criminal. She took the negatives and handed him the Green Dragon. Batman arrived on the scene in time for him to see Selina Wayne running towards the edge of the roof. A man looked inside the bag and threw it down with a curse. He yanked out a gun and began firing at Selina. She was hit in the shoulder and leg just as she was reaching for her catapult line. The impact of the bullets threw her off balance and off of the room.

Dick hurried to where Selina lay dying in the street. She gasped out the story to Dick as her breath faded. The crook had gotten away.

Helena Wayne was currently attending college and was not patrolling as Bat-Girl as much as she had before. She however usually listened to emergency band broadcasts while doing her schoolwork. Hearing about the appearance of the Catwoman she decided to investigate. She arrived a few minutes after Selina's death. When Helena returned to her home, she put away her Bat-Girl costumes. She no longer felt like being the devil may care figure that Bat-Girl had been. Helena designed a new costume that was a blend of her parents and called herself The Huntress. Her first mission had been to track down and bring to justice to her mother's killer. The Huntress was not averse to causing those who resisted her arrests pain, especially when they were the type of criminals she considered insidious.

Helena continued with her career as the Huntress through college. She also attended law school but did not have time to adventure too much during that period. She resumed her career as the Huntress after law school when she joined the firm of Cranston, Grayson and Wayne as a junior partner.

In 1978 at the Grayson home James Gordon's daughter, her three grown children, her son in law John Drake jr. and her four year old grandson were celebrating the birthday of James Gordon. They were waiting for Dick and Tony Gordon[21], who had been called to Arkham Asylum to speak to the Joker about some murders he had committed and wanted now wished to confess. This would turn out to be a ruse.

At about the same time a the attack on the Grayson home Batman and Tony Gordon discovered the empty cell of the Joker, The Joker and several machine gun wielding thugs dressed as clowns burst into to the Grayson home without any warning. Without preamble Barbara Grayson was shot through the abdomen severely damaging her spine. Telling vapid and unfunny jokes the Joker had her stripped and he took a several pictures of her bleeding naked body. He then kidnapped the crippled former Police Commissioner. As a parting gesture he tossed a grenade filled with joker gas through the front window.

Four-year-old Tim Drake happened to catch the thrown grenade and tossed it back out the window, thinking it was a game. It landed on the front lawn and dissipated into the air. Fortunately the Joker was long gone, otherwise he would have returned to finish wiping out the Grayson family.

Batman tracked the down the Joker. After defeating his henchmen and engaging him in hand to hand combat Batman captured the Joker. Dick was only restrained from killing him by a superhuman effort of will and by the fact that Jim Gordon needed serious medical attention. Although Batman had barely noticed it during the fight, The Joker had seemed younger and stronger than he had been. Although the press began calling the younger villain, Joker Jr. he was (as fingerprints would attest, the same person some how rejuvenated.[22]

A few days after he was rescued, James Gordon succumbed to the effects of his torture and shuffled off the mortal coil. Barbara Grayson was left a paraplegic. Although Dick Grayson continued to act as the Batman his heart was not in it. This nearly cost him his life as the third tragedy played out in 1979.

Batman's old opponent Two Face was up to his old tricks. Despite being paid off by various businesses and institutions, Two-Face still bombed, gassed or murdered victims. This was because in addition to his disassociative disorder, he was also suffering from senile dementia. He would forget which way the coin had landed and so was being easily convinced that it was always on the scarred side. Two-Face carried out these bloody acts of terror without a second thought. Batman and Robin found Two-Face's lair and entered a maze of double doors, forked tunnels, twin stair cases, two sets of ladders, etc. They became separated when Dick chose a wrong door. He slid down a razor-studded slide and landed on a platform between two machine guns. Two-Face was on the other side of the platform in a small booth with television cameras and a control panel. He flipped a coin, caught it and looked at it blankly. He started to flip it once again but put it in his pocket and pressed a switch. Both machine guns opened up on Batman.

The suit protected him from taking fatal wounds but the striking bullets did bruise his skin and break his bones incapacitating him.

Robin arrived a few minutes later and found Two-Face continually flipping a coin and laughing. "Batman is dead, no, he is alive." [23]

Robin sedated and secured Two-Face and then switched uniforms with Batman. Robin did not think it would be a good idea for the criminal element to think that Batman was incapacitated.

While Dick was recovering Bruce Wayne jr. filled in as the Batman. Dick Grayson told Bruce that he was through with costumed adventuring. A press release was put out that Robin had died of his injuries. Bruce was aided in his crime-fighting career by his sister Helena, The Huntress and by his wife, Kara Kent Wayne, Supergirl. Although Kara was busy with her career as a television anchor woman and raising their daughter and had little time for costumed adventuring.

Another tragedy of the Batman family came in 1982 when Bruce Wayne, while on a mission with CIALD was reported missing in action and presumed dead. CIALD was investigating the connection between the crackdown of dissidents in Mainland China and the uncovering of several sloppy Chinese espionage agents in the United States. The trail lead to the Yellow Claw (real name unknown) one of the Si-Fan Council of Seven.[24]

Shortly after this case the Yellow Claw dropped from sight, Bruce Wayne had disappeared and Fu Manchu was rumored to be dead.

In late 1984, Batman returned from a patrol sweep of the Bronx to find a youth attempting to steal the hubcaps of the Batmobile with a crowbar. When caught he did not fling the crowbar at Batman but calmly continued with his attempted theft. When Batman asked what he was thought he was doing, the boy said that Batman could easily replace the hubcaps but these unique items would help him and his guardian to eat for a month or so. The hubcaps were however magnetically locked in place and it was virtually impossible for them to be removed. After a few more minutes of trying to get them off, the boy flung his crowbar down in disgust. Batman offered to give him a ride home. The youth said it was the least he could do. Batman subtly inquired as to the boy’s name and circumstances. Jason Todd lived with his guardian in an old broken down apartment. Although the boy was reticent Batman made discreet inquiries about him. Jason Todd’s father was in prison and had been a former henchman of Two-Face. His grandfather had been Mark Todd.[25] Jason defended his sickly guardian from various predatory gangs and often had to steal to get additional money for food or medicines.

Alexis Luther initiated his Doomsday plan in 1985, a plan that would culminate in destroying the costumed vigilantes that had most plagued him in one fell swoop and clear the way for him to have unimpeded power. To achieve this goal turned his investigative teams loose to discover every scrap of information about those people he wished to destroy.

First Alexis Luther had the Joker broken out of Arkham Asylum so the Joker could carry out his part of the plan. Although Luther knew that the Joker would change the plan to suit his psychotic needs, he did not know that he would do it in such a drastic fashion. The plan was for the Joker to lure the dynamic duo into a trap and blow them to smithereens, no elaborate death traps, no possibility of escape. Simple effective elimination. The Joker had discovered the identity of Robin through sheer accident although the Joker refused to share that knowledge with Luther. The Joker used Robin’s mother to lure Robin into a death trap. This Robin was more violent and more impulsive than his predecessors and so fell for the trap. The Joker captured Robin and brutally beat him. This was all televised for the Joker had taken over a television studio.

He tied up Robin and his mother and had explosives set around them. The Joker then held a telethon whichever victim received the most contributions would not be blown up. When Batman arrived as the Joker knew he would, the Joker informed him that there were dead man switches on Robin and his mother so if Batman made an attempt to capture Joker or rescue Robin, they would be set off. He further informed Batman that Batman’s arrival had triggered a timer of one hour, which would set off Robin and his mother’s explosives. To make it more interesting, the Joker had set up four places in the city where joker gas would released in fifteen minute intervals in sequential order. So that no one else could interfere in this game the joker gas would be triggered if anyone but Batman tried to disable the devices. The four locations were in far flung parts of the city.

Robin won the telethon as more people called in to save the young hero than the unknown middle-aged woman, although the margin was not as great as the Joker had thought it would be. The Joker dramatically stopped the countdown on the explosives next to Robin but let the count down on Robin’s mother continue. Robin had regained consciousness and found a way to free himself of his bonds. He used all his remaining strength to leap across the stage and knock the explosives away from his mother. She was shielding from the brunt of the explosion by Robin’s body. Robin was savaged by the explosives and died of trauma immediately. The Joker had wanted Robin to see his mother die and then kill him when Batman returned. Then kill Batman. Enraged that he had been cheated he shot Robin’s mother. Batman returned from his mission through the city and saw what had happened. He eluded the Joker’s men and fought the Joker. The Joker was much older than the Batman and so was not a physical match for him. Batman threw the Joker down on the spot on the stage where Robin had been bound and began to savagely beat the Joker. Batman might have killed him if the Joker had not released the dead man’s switch in his hands. Batman had been close to the explosives when they went off. He was protected by his suit but still badly injured. The Joker was also injured but he and his men made good their escape. 

While Batman was convalescing the major blows of the Doomsday plan came to pass.

The Daredevil was exposed as lawyer Matthew Murdock, his law license was revoked, his assets were seized and his home was destroyed.

While fighting a rampaging alien monster named Doomsday Superman and Supergirl were killed. Power Girl was severely injured but believed to be alive.

The death of his wife was a devastating blow for Bruce Wayne jr. His devastation was compounded by guilt over the lies he had to tell about the circumstances of her death. The guilt was not for the public lie that she was one of the many victims of Doomsday’s rampage but for the lies he had to tell his daughter. He could not tell Lana Wayne her mother had died a hero.

When Kara Kent Wayne became pregnant it had been decided between Bruce Wayne Jr. and Kara that Lana Wayne would not grow up knowing that her parents were Batman and Supergirl or that her grandparents were Superman and Batman. Although both Bruce Junior and Kara Kent had been told when they were old enough to understand and keep the family secret, it was a crushing burden to put on a child. Beyond just knowing there was the pressure that they put on themselves as children, trying to measure up to their parents. Kara also had known how hard it was on Joel Kent to know Superman was his father and not have inherited any Kryptonian powers. He adjusted to being non-powered” well enough yet he still could not stay away from becoming a masked vigilante. It was unknown how much of Lana’s physiology would have the Kryptonian genotype and how much would be standard human being. Kara had manifested her powers exceptionally early but her father, a full Kryptonian had had not really begun exhibiting his powers until after puberty. It was decided to wait until Lana had reached puberty to tell her about her family.

When Lana’s mother, grandfather and cousin had been killed or seriously injured by Doomsday, the secret was still kept by Bruce Wayne jr. Yet he was physically and emotionally unable to deal with his daughter so he sent her to an exclusive school for girls upstate.

Needing to escape from his grief Batman returned to prowl the streets of Gotham sooner than he was medically ready using a modified version of the costume that he had used in the 1960’s.

In the wake of the deaths and disappearance of Batman, Robin, Superman, Daredevil and others criminal gangs became bolder and more prevalent spilling out of the poorer sections of the city where they had stayed and into more affluent areas. Alexis Luther encouraged this behavior once again hoping to sell advanced weapons to the New York Special Crimes Unit to help quell the rash of violence plaguing the streets.

Concurrent with the return of Batman was the partial unraveling of Alexis Luther’s foreign policy. It was discovered that a deal had been made to sell weapons to Iran with Israel as the intermediary. It was further discovered that the profits from these had been diverted to give support to the contra rebels of Nicaragua. Both actions were contrary to acts of Congress, which prohibited the sale of weapons to Iran, as well as in violation of UN sanctions.  Alexis Luther’s plans became tied up in the morass that would become known as the Iran-Contra Affair.

Alexis Luther could scarcely credit it but it appeared as though Batman was somehow involved in the discovery and leaking of this information to the press. Since the Joker had failed to destroy Batman, Alexis Luther came up with a plan to completely remove Batman from the picture.

One of the projects that the United States gave in support to the Nicaraguan rebels called the Contras was the facilities and personnel to create super soldiers. That was the pretense but the Nicaraguans were actually guinea pigs for various super solider tests much like the one that created Isaiah Bradley. In essence the US was getting around the ban on human testing. Most of the experiments were failures and created freaks if the subject survived but some were successes in that they gave the soldiers some abilities beyond those of regular soldiers. The testing facilities were in the islands of Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua) or the Nicaraguan coastal Islands. One of these islands was Santa Prisca and one of the results of these experiments was called Bane. Having heard of Bane’s successful campaigns that terrorized Nicaraguan peasantry into supporting the Contra’s Alexis Luther believed that he could be the man to finally destroy Batman. Bane was not merely a muscle bound stoolie however he negotiated a large fee from Alexis Luther’s representative and let him know that he could not merely kill Batman but destroy him completely. When he outlined his plan to Luther’s representative, the representative was skeptical and rather wary that Bane had deducted the connection to Lexcorp but Alexis Luther saw the plan as bold, risky and exciting. There was the added benefit that it would help divert attention away from Iran-Contra.

Bane and his men broke into Arkham Asylum and released all of the prisoners, which contained some of the nations’ worst psychopathic killers. They were also the archenemies of Batman. Bane and Luther knew that Batman would feel compelled to hunt them down. Bane knew that this would physically and mentally wear Batman down. When he was nearly at his breaking point, Bane would break him.

The escaped prisoners scattered far and wide and committing wide scale murder and mayhem. Shortly after the breakout, Alexis Luther put another phase of his plan into play. He had sponsored two legitimate psychiatrists in their efforts to get books published that blamed Batman for the Arkham inmates, for both their psychosis and their subsequent actions. These psychiatrists made the rounds of all the talk shows, slowly but surely attempting to erode Batman’s image as a hero in the eyes of the public. [26]

Batman was joined in his search for the escaped criminals by Robin, an older seemingly middle aged Robin.[27] Their first lead came from a break in a haberdasher’s shop. Left at the scene was an invitation for a tea party at an abandoned mansion. Batman and Robin joined a tea party in progress orchestrated by the Mad Hatter, Jervis Tetch. The other members of the party were criminals hired for the occasion. Batman and Robin fought the criminals and captured Tetch. [28]

Their next lead came when they spotted a toy store that had suffered a break-in. Inside the toy store were the Ventriloquist, a schizophrenic who believed that his dummy controlled him, and a super strong mentally deficient man named Amygdala. Robin was on back up once again. Batman engaged Amygdala and was nearly beaten to a pulp by the enraged super strong psychopath. During the fight between Amygdala and Batman the Ventriloquist made good his escape. Robin had noticed a falcon circling above them and had followed the falcon and discovered that someone was directing the falcon. Robin and the Falconer fought but the younger man overpowered Robin and left him stunned. [29]

Batman received word over the radio that a hostage situation was taking place at the Bates School for Women. The escaped serial killer ZsasZ had taken fifteen of the students hostage. ZsasZ had cut the throat of an officer sent into the school to assess the situation. Zsasz claimed that this meant he would have to kill three of the victims to make up for this. One of Zsasz most noticeable features was that he was covered with has marks, each one a self inflicted scar that counted his victims. Negotiations went nowhere and ZsasZ had sequestered himself and his victims to be in a section of the school were SWAT teams could not gain ready access. A female officer went inside to try and get him to release at least one of the hostages in exchange for her. Zsasz instead decided that she would just be another victim.

Batman’s entry prevented Zsasz from slashing her throat. While Zsasz and Batman were engaged in dialogue the female officer stomped on Zsasz instep and elbowed his groin, getting away from him. This gave Batman the opportunity to fight Zsasz. As they were fighting Zsasz taunted Batman claiming that they were very much alike. This triggered a great rage in Batman and he quickly out fought Zsasz. Batman beat Zsasz severely, losing control to the point where the female officer had to physically restrain him. [30]

While Batman was confronting Zsasz Robin tracked Bane to an outpost where Bane and his men were observing Batman. Robin was spotted and captured. Bane threatened to beat and then kill Robin unless Robin gave him information about Batman. Robin’s life was saved by the appearance of Dr. Mark Sinclair. Sinclair had undergone an experimental process to regenerate his lost arm it had turned him into a humanoid alligator.[31] His sentience however had eroded over the years. In DC comics he was known as Killer Croc and in Marvel comics he was known as the Lizard. Bane had fought with Sinclair shortly after arriving in New York and had broken Sinclair’s arms. Sinclair remembered this and was out for revenge. As Bane and Sinclair fought, Sinclair disabled Bane’s venom dispenser, making the fight fairly even. Robin escaped during the fight. [32]

Bane had however learned one vital clue from a piece of Robin’s equipment. Although it did not have any distinguishing manufacturing marks the exploding R shaped shuriken reminded Bane of something else he had seen. The font used for the R inside a ring made Bane think of Waynetech, which had a logo of a W inside a circle. Bane had intuitively solved a puzzle that dumbfounded many another villain. Where did Batman get all of his toys? Waynetech was Batman’s backer. Bane relayed this information to Luther who began an assault on another front.

Upon his escape from Arkham Asylum the Joker had made an alliance with the serial killer Cornelius Stirk.[33] Stirk was convinced that he achieved power through the fear of his victims. Stirk had the ability to instantly hypnotize people into believing he was someone that they knew. The Joker wanted to capture Commissioner Gordon and hold him for ransom.[34] Gordon was on the rooftop of the main police building by the Bat Signal when Stirk walked up to him, having hypnotized Gordon into thinking he was the Batman. Stirk however did not plan to capture Gordon but kill him. Batman arrived in time to save Gordon.

The Joker was upset by this chain of events but soon discovered another partner who had also watched the little drama play out, The Scarecrow, the original master of fear. They concocted a plan to terrorize the city by kidnapping the Mayor. Using fear gas the Joker and Scarecrow coerced the Mayor into calling off the National Guard units he had requested from the Governor. They also had him inform the fire department that he was making slashing cuts to their budget. This induced the fire department to strike immediately. The Joker then contacted an Arkham alumnus, a pyromaniac who called himself the Firefly and told him that he had free reign to burn down the city. [35]

Batman confronted the Firefly as he was torching a building but their encounter was indecisive as Batman had to choose between saving civilians or capturing the Firefly.

The Scarecrow and the Joker had the Mayor inform the police department that he had been taken hostage. He managed to blurt out his location before the phone was wrested from his hands. The police converged on Coney Island Amusement park. Unfortunately this was a trap and rigged explosions killed several police.

Although exhausted from his many battles, Bruce Wayne forces himself to attend a charity ball, one that been organized by his wife before her death. Watching some of the news footage, Bane immediately recognized Bruce Wayne’s body language as that of Batman’s. At the ball Lucius Fox tried to warn Bruce Wayne that something was going on with Wayne stocks but the charity ball was interrupted by another Arkham escapee, Dr. Pamela Isley, botantist and psychopath. She used spores from genetically altered nightshade plants to send all of the guests into a zombie like state. She had the guests enter an awaiting truck and took them to a greenhouse called Neo-Eden. She planned to rob the guests, ransom them and then kill them. Bruce Wayne slipped away to return as Batman.

Batman arrived just in time to stop Pamela Isley from kissing Lucius Fox, Waynetech’s Chief Financial Offiicer, by hitting her in the face with a batarang. This kiss would have killed Fox for like Rappacini’s Daugher, Isley was filled with poison. Batman then had to kill her zombies, these were men whose bodies were had become part of a symbiotic organism when a parasitic plant took root in them. These zombies were inured and very hard to disable. Batman defeated them but in his exhausted state this took a great toll on him. He barely managed to capture Pamela Isley. [36]

While Batman was engaged with the charity ball, a person wearing a dark costume reminiscent of a Muslim warrior prowled the streets. He called himself Azrael.

Batman traced Firefly to the Gotham Zoo. While Batman was dealing with Firefly, putting out the fire that he started and recapturing zoo animals, Robin had to deal with the Riddler. The Riddler had also escaped from Arkham Asylum and he had an idea for a perfect score to net him a good deal of money. However due to his monomania, the Riddler could not enact a crime without leaving clever clues for the police. When no one would respond to the Riddler’s letters that he had sent to the police department his gang became tire of waiting and decided to pull the heist without him. Upset by this the Riddler decided to take his clues to a more public forum. He forced his way onto the Sally Jesse Raphael show and convinced her to make him a guest by showing his vest of dynamite. Sally’s guest was a psychiatrist who had briefly worked at Arkham and was touting a new book, which blamed Batman and society for the psychopaths terrorizing the city. The Riddler began to spout off his riddles with the proviso that there was a time limit. The police surrounded the television studio but were afraid to shoot Riddler because his dead man’s switch would explode. Robin eluded the police barricade and swung into the studio, shooting the Riddler’s hand with an epoxy that kept his hand closed. The Riddler was easily captured after that and the dynamite vest turned out to be a fake. [37]

The Huntress thwarted the burglary that the Riddler’s men had carried out without him.

After tying up the Firefly Batman was heading back the Batcave for some much needed rest when he got a call that the Scarecrow and Joker had barricaded themselves and the Mayor inside the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel.

The Scarecrow and Joker had decided to use the Mayor to lure Batman into a death trap. They called in a bomb threat on the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel. When it was shut down they took the Mayor to the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel in an ice cream truck and used a rocket launcher to destroy several vehicles sealing off the entrance. The police were wary of entering the tunnel for fear of another trap and for fear of endangering the Mayor’s life. Batman slipped into the tunnel via access holes. Once he found the Scarecrow and Joker, he was subjected to a blast of fear gas which seemed to have no effect on him. He overpowered the Scarecrow and turned his attention to the Joker. Something snapped in him. This was the first time he had encountered the Joker since Jason Todd had been killed. He was beating the Joker to death when the Scarecrow used the rocket launcher to open a hole in the ceiling of the tunnel letting water cascade into the tunnel. Safety doors sealed off the tunnel section trapping the two criminals Batman and the Mayor. Batman had to make the choice to save the Mayor or letting the Joker escape.[38]

After Batman rescued the Mayor from the flooded tunnel he was set upon by a large, heavily muscled man. He fought and defeated him. A man throwing knives then attacked him. After avoiding the deadly missiles Batman also defeated this foe. Finally a man who used trained falcons attacked him. Batman defeated the falcons and then had to fight the Falconer who was also a trained martial artist. Once these three were in police custody he began the journey home.[39]

His trip home was interrupted by a police call about a body being found in the New York Museum of Natural History, inside the ribcage of a dinosaur skeleton. Batman stopped to investigate this call. The body was of Legs Lyman a gangster. The dinosaur used to be known as a brontosaurus but was not named Apatosaurus. It had been improperly named because of a wrong skull. Batman realized that the dinosaur with two names and two skulls was a calling card from Two-Face. He learned that Two Face had taken over the rackets of Legs Lyman. Batman investigated and in his debilitated condition was captured by Two Face and his men. Batman was put on trial and found guilty. Two-Face planned to hang Batman off of the girder of a building under construction. Robin was nearby and used a thrown R shuriken to cut Batman bonds. Batman and Two-Face fought and Two-Face was captured. [40]

Batman and Robin returned to the Batcave to find it in a shambles. Alfred Pennyworth was hurriedly loading an ambulance with equipment. He explained what had happened. Bane had broken into Wayne Manor and tried to wrest the secret of Batman’s whereabouts from him. Bane knew Batman was Bruce Wayne. When Alfred would not divulge any information, Bane went on a destructive rampage looking for the Batcave entrance. Unable to find it he sat and waited. Although he was only half conscious when Batman emerged from the entrance behind the grandfather clock, Alfred knew something was wrong but was not certain as to what.

Bane boasted how he had planned to wear Batman down to nothing and then destroy him, to break him. Batman attacked Bane. They fought through out the mansion and finally downstairs into the Batcave. Bane’s venom delivery system made him superstrong, tireless and extremely aggressive. He used props from the Batcave to batter and knock Batman around. Batman delivered blows that would have crippled lesser men but Bane did not fall. He wore Batman down and finally when Batman could not longer fight he threw him around the Batcave like a rag doll and finally broke his back over his knee. Bane walked out the mansion carrying Batman over his shoulder. He told Alfred he was going to show the people of New York who they really needed to fear. [41]

Bruce Wayne jr. wondered who the Batman imitator was. Alfred told him, it was not an imitator it was the original Batman. Alfred finished loading the supplies, Bruce Wayne jr. Dick Grayson and Alfred took the ambulance into the city, listening for the dispatch. Bruce reasoned that Bane would take Batman to City Hall to make a message. They arrived shortly after Bane had tossed Batman’s body into the street like a sack of garbage. The ambulance driven by Bruce Wayne and attended by Alfred and Dick Grayson picked Batman up and took him to the Wayne Mansion. They had to find an adequate cover story not only for Bruce Wayne senior’s return after being missing for several years but also to account for his injuries. [42]

The Police found the Scarecrow unconscious and strapped to a pole in a vacant lot. Of the Arkham escapees only Joker remained at large.

After arranging for a private doctor with one of the wings of mansion equipped as a private hospital to take care of Bruce Wayne sr. Bruce Wayne jr and Dick Grayson begin mop up operations in the wake of the Arkham escapees street crime had risen. Bruce Wayne jr underwent a dramatic change. The death of Jason Todd, the death of Kara Kent Wayne, the “deaths” of Superman and Power Woman and crippling and near death of his father made Bruce Wayne jr obsessed with punishing the criminal element.

When he learned that Bane had begun taking over many of the rackets in the city in bloodbaths, he began to view all criminals as minions of Banes. He became brutal and sadistic when taking down criminals. He made changes to the Batsuit, adding armor, spikes and razored surfaces. He created bat claw gloves that were deadly slashing and puncturing weapons. Dick Grayson tried to swerve Bruce from this path but Bruce junior told him that if the tired old Robin did not want to back him up anymore he would either work alone or find a new Robin.

Alexis Luther had done his part to increase the chaos of the city to wear Batman down by forming and equipping urban gangs such as the Mutants and the Jokerz. He was not too pleased however when other costumed vigilantes such as the Huntress and Azrael fought his gangs rather than the Batman. Alexis Luther was very unpleased when Bane informed him that Bane was no longer an employee but rather a partner. Just as Bane had figured out Batman’s identity, Bane also deducted who was Bane’s sponsor. Bane would be content with controlling the underworld empire that Luther had secretly been ruling; he would allow Luther to have the legitimate businesses and all the political contacts.

Alexis Luther did not share and he did not take ultimatums well. Bane had swiftly taken over several of Luther’s criminal operations by assassinating the putative head of these rackets, although they all actually reported to superiors who reported through several layers of organizational hierarchy to Alexis Luther. He sent his remaining gangs against Bane and directed the Mutants and Jokerz against Bane’s organizations.

This led to an increase in street violence and an upsurge in criminal activity as Luther and Bane tried to out do each other.

During the midst of this chaos, Lana Wayne came home from school.

When Lana came home from school at the end of the first term Bruce was too busy with business to have much time for her, she spent most of her time with Alfred and visiting her convalescent grandfather.

Lana dearly missed her mother not only because she was her mother but because she had no one to talk to about the changes that she was going through, physically. Bruce senior had Alfred contact Helena Wayne and Barbara Grayson to see if Lana could spend some time with them so she could talk to them about certain changes. However the changes Lana was experiencing were not merely the development of her pubescent sexuality but rather her ability to jump farther than most of her schoolmates, her increased strength and ability to take a lot of punishment during field hockey without so much as a bruise.

Helena Wayne talked to Lana and strongly suggested to Bruce jr that she be allowed to hang out with girls of her own age. He relented, begrudgingly. He was overly concerned about her safety especially in the midst of the gang wars.

Lana and one of her friends were returning from shopping at a mall when they were chased from their bus stop by some of the Mutants into a dark alley. Lana and her friend stood transfixed when Batman arrived and disabled the Mutants. Batman paused for a second when he saw Lana but quickly left the scene. Yet the look was enough for Lana to mentally match the Batman’s body movements to those that her father often made when he was exercising or sparring in the gymnasium. She remembered a lot of little things that suddenly added up to a very startling picture. For instance when she was about five she had caught her parents sparring in gym. Her father had been punching at her mother with all of his might but her mother had just laughed and told him not to wear himself out. Her mother had then picked up her father by placing one hand against his chest and lifting. Her mother had held her father in one hand and brought him down to kiss her when she noticed Lana out of the corner of her eyes. Her mother had then flipped her father over her shoulders as if this were part of a judo hold.

Returning home Lana did some research and compared all the known photographs of Batman against photos of her father and all known photos of her mother against pictures of Supergirl or Power Femme.  Her diligent research seemed to indicate that several of the more recent photos of the Batman from the last five years or so seemed to be of her father. All pictures of Supergirl were of her mother at various ages. There were several pictures of Supergirl with Robin, the blond haired one that she now knew to be her father.

Lana was not angry with her parents for not telling her about this big secret. Well, not too much anyway, she could understand the reasoning behind it. She realized that what her father was doing and why he wanted her away from it all. He was avenging Kara’s death. Lana was determined that she was going to help, whether he wanted help or not. She knew that if he were asked if she could help he would absolutely forbid it.

Lana went to a costume shop and bought a Robin suit. Once dressed for the part she began scouring the city for crimes to stop. She exulted in not having to hold back when fighting people bigger than herself. After a few nights of solo prowling she began to learn to listen before jumping in to stop a criminal activity if no one was being threatened with harm. In this way she learned of the Mutant leader’s challenge to the Batman.

Batman accepted the challenge probably because he believed that if he cut the head off the body would fall apart. Lana saw Batman arrive at the challenge site in the modified Batmobile, which looked more like a tank than an automobile. The mutant leader was freakish looking with overly bulked up muscles all over his body and mouth full of needle like fangs.[43] Batman and the overly muscled Mutant leader fought man to man and the battle seemed evenly matched so far as strength was concerned however in terms of martial skill Batman scored much higher than the Mutant leader and had nearly beaten him when the main body of Mutants broke rank and attacked Batman with crowbars and other like implements. Batman went down under the large numbers and even his improved bat armor was soon broken and pierced.

Lana ran to the Batmobile and tried to get inside. It was locked and she could not get inside. She jumped into the thick of the fight and began tossing gang members aside and uncovered Batman. She carried him to the Batmobile. Batman was conscious enough to give the vocal commands to unlock the Batmobile. Lana carried him inside. Batman gave the command and the Batmobile started up. Batman told Lana to follow the onboard map all she had to do was to steer and brake.

Once at the Batcave, Alfred began immediate first aid.

Over the next few days the Mutant leader was boasting that he had defeated the Batman. He received a visit from Bane who promptly and decisively killed the Mutant leader and took control of that gang. Bane was an accomplished guerilla fighter in both the actual jungle and urban jungles of Central America. He emerged when he needed to take personal action, otherwise he was extremely difficult to find. Police raids and vigilante actions by Team Luther turned up empty.

By the end of 1986, Commissioner Gordon had been fired from his job by the Mayor and was replaced by a Commissioner that both Washington and Alexis Luther desired. Although Alexis Luther knew that the criminal conditions and the involvement of Bane were no fault of Commissioner Gordon’s he used this as a pretext to get ride of another of Batman’s allies. This new Commissioner would focus on street crime that terrorized the citizenry and would tolerate no blatant outlawry such as vigilantism. The new Commissioner served noticed to all costumed vigilantes that if caught, they would be charged with all suitable crimes.

Although Bane was out of control, Alexis Luther did not want this seemingly indestructible Batman to take Bane out which would reinforce his hero image. Alexis Luther used his influence with the presidential administration and with CIALD to have undercover agents sent in that would not glorify costumed vigilantes. However this agent in question was still in Nicaragua, having been captured along with several other agents. Although the agent could have broken himself and his crew out of captivity, he was gathering intelligence.

Bane’s men were broken out of jail by Batman. He had hoped that Bane would eventually have them released and they would lead him to Bane. However Bane had left his men in jail, probably as punishment for having been caught. They led Batman to several places before finally getting to the hideout that Bane had made has his headquarters. Bane was immediately suspicious as to how they had gotten out of prison. He grabbed one of them and snapped his arm in retribution.

Bane fought Batman, his venom derived brute strength and increased stamina against Batman’s superior skill and improved Bat armor. The battle raged across several street blocks and was fairly even until Batman managed to use his Bat claws to slice the tubes feeding Bane venom. Without constant infusions of Venom Bane’s strength and stamina began to fade especially when Batman’s claws and bat shuriken and razor projectiles began cutting into his flesh. The battle between Bane and Batman continued even after Bane fled into a subway station when he was out of venom. Batman and Bane fought off of the subway platform and onto a train, without regard for the civilians around them. Robin had followed the fight and she disconnected the subway car that Bane and Batman were on so that they could not travel through the rest of the moving train and endanger all the passengers. The police surrounded the train car. Batman beat Bane senseless and his bat claws had savaged his flesh. He threw Bane out of the train for the police to arrest. However the police arrested Bane and tried to arrest Batman and Robin. They eluded the police since most officers, despite the new Police Commissioner’s edict were still reluctant to fire upon Batman and Robin.

Ignoring the arrest warrant, Batman continued to fight crime and search for the only one of the Arkham escapee’s still at large, the Joker. Batman learned that one of the Joker’s former associates, who had been an assistant to the Toyman, had been making some odd purchases. Batman and Robin sat on a rooftop outside of Abner’s apartment for hours but he never came home. Impatient Robin swung down and through the window of the apartment. The apartment was empty except for a doll which sat on the center of the floor. Robin reached to picked it up and was hauled back by Batman. Her father’s quick action and Lana Wayne’s dense musculature saved her from too much harm when the doll exploded, taking taking a good portion of the building with it.

The Commissioner added the charges of leaving the scene of a crime and child endangerment to those pending against Batman.

Lana Wayne discovered a vital clue to the Joker’s whereabouts by watching television. The David Letterman show announced that Dr. Bartholomew Wolper would be appearing with a very special guest that would shed light on the real character of Batman and demonstrate how the Joker was Batman’s victim. The Joker was either the surprise guest or would be in the audience somehow.

Having learned that the Joker would be the subject of Late Night with David Letterman the Police Commissioner had the building surrounded once the show had started. Batman and Robin had to fight through a cordon of heavily armed and armored police officers who seemed more intent on stopping and capturing Batman than the Joker. The police delayed Batman and Robin long enough for Dr. Wolper to introduce his special guest, the Joker whom he had been treating privately. Dr. Wolper was ready to stake his reputation that the Joker was ready to be returned to society as a useful citizen. The Joker told David Letterman he was grateful to Dr. Wolper for having cured him. He then gave Dr. Wolper a big kiss on the lips. Dr. Wolper looked shocked and then began laughing. He laughed so hard he fell out of his chair. His body became wracked with convulsions and died with a rictus on face.

The Joker then pulled out a gun and kept the security guards at bay while he pulled out a large canister from underneath his chair. He told Letterman that his show was too droll and that he would liven it up with laughter.

Batman and Robin burst onto the stage with New York’s finest in hot pursuit. Robin stopped Joker from turning the gas canister with an R shuriken to the hand. Joker escaped into the studio audience, which also ran screaming from the studio theater. The police were more interested in getting Batman than the Joker so the Joker made a clean getaway. An armor-piercing bullet however winged Batman.

Eluding the police, Batman and Robin lost track of the Joker. An item caught Batman’s attention. To celebrate the annual Mermaid Parade, hundred of dolls would be given away to deserving little girls. The Joker planned to strike the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. Batman and Robin went to Coney Island dressed like tourists. Once there they looked for the Joker and found him dressed as clown handing out dolls to children as they went aboard the Cyclone Rollercoaster. Abner was running the rollercoaster. They did not see any of the real rollercoaster crew around. Batman believed that the dolls contained explosives, joker gas or both and were triggered to discharge by a remote control. Joker probably intended to give dolls to children on many rides and then destroy Coney Island and kill as many people as possible.

Robin went on the Cyclone. The Ride started and then shut off at the peak of a big hill. Abner sabotaged the controls. Then he noticed Robin moving about on the train, gathering up dolls, snatching them from the hands of screaming children and tossing them to the ground. Abner began climbing the tracks to get to Robin.  Joker was watching this when Batman tackled him. The Joker responded by shooting Batman point blank in the chest and stomach with armor piercing bullets. Batman’s improved armor took the brunt of these charges but they still felt like sledgehammer blows to his chest and stomach.

Batman and the Joker fought and tumbled off of the roller coaster to land in the Tunnel of Love. The Joker had his neck broken in the fall and attempted to have Batman blamed for his death by further damaging his neck. Batman seized the Joker and prevented him from doing that. The Police saw Batman with his hands around the Joker. Batman had to use tear gas and incendiaries to escape from the police. The Batman was charged with attempted murder of the Joker.

After Bane’s defeat the Mutant gang began calling themselves the Sons of Batman and began acting as vigilantes in the old sense of the word, becoming judge, jury and executioner of those they considered criminals. The Police Commissioner directly attributed their creation to Batman and held him responsible for their actions. Actually Alexis Luther had begun funding the Sons of Batman and encouraging their vigilante excesses to further discredit Batman.

Since the Iran-Contra affair had exposed the Reagan administration to yet another round of bad publicity, Alexis Luther used this to paint a scenario how Batman had turned into urban terrorist without the mitigating presence of Superman. The Democratic Mayor of New York was either negligent in stopping Batman or else tacitly approved of his actions. New York was a powder keg that could blow at any moment. Batman and the criminal element had to be contained. Yet National Guard troops would only serve to inflame the situation.

Luther passed along the suggestion to George Bush that they use the Nicaraguan fiasco to their advantage. Have the one hero that had emerged from the Nicaraguan situation take Batman in hand. This hero was Arnold Munro, a civilian employee of the Air America, the CIA run transportation airline who had been captured by the Nicaraguan Sandinista government. Munro had led the government troops away from the other members of his crew and gave them a chance to escape. He also allowed himself to be captured so that he could take note of military installations and other necessary date in a case the United States was forced to invade Nicaragua. Munro could have easily escaped capture but had been ordered to do so only if absolutely necessary to save his life. As it turned out the Sandinista government found his capture an embarrassment. After a show trial for espionage he was granted a commuted sentence and deported.

Rumor had it that Arnold Munro was the son of Superman and had super strength. Alexis Luther did not know whether to believe that or if Munro was the one of the many Kryptonians from the Phantom Zone that plagued Superman at least in the comics or if he were related to those Phantom Zone escapees or he were just another freak. Alexis Luther had seen Korean war footage showing Munro lifting an overturned truck so believed that at least one of the rumors was true.

Arnold Munro had a private meeting with President Reagan who informed him that it was his duty to make certain that Batman ended his career. All this vigilantism was bad for business. Arnold Munro was a patriot and a soldier. He had been a cold warrior and a member of the Intelligence community for so many years that disobeying a direct command from the President was not something that he could do, despite his own misgivings about the command. There was something to be said for President Reagan’s view since the Batman did seem to be going off the deep end as of late, changing his costume to a fright suit of razor sharp angles and endangering the young girl whom Munro and others knew was Batman’s own daughter.

Batman was currently after a violent psychopath named the Hyena. She believed herself to be the daughter of Henry Mortonson, the criminal known as the Hyena and of Priscilla Rich, the Cheetah. However this seems to be a wish fantasy rather than reality. She had also been influenced by the campy 1960’s version of the Batman television show, having her henchman dress up in costumes that said Goon or Henchman. Yet despite his last bit of eccentric whimsy, she was a vicious killer. As more people died, Batman became obsessed with catching her. In one of their recent fights several innocent people were injured. Robin had tried to temper her father’s obsession and drive for rage driven violent justice but found that even she could not do so. She began gravitating more towards working with the Huntress, coordinated by Dick and Barbara Grayson. Meanwhile her father continued to hunt the Hyena and was in turn hunted by the police.

Following the President’s orders Munro first tried to reason with Batman and did so by bring along his wife, Hippolyta Trevor Munro. Hippolyta was an old friend of Bruce Wayne jr. from their shared experiences of growing up with a “super-hero” as a parent. . Yet Bruce Wayne jr. refused to be mollified or swayed despite the presence of Lyta. The Munro’s warned him that the government was determined to stop Batman’s reign of terror in Gotham, by whatever means necessary.

Shortly after the Munro’s left, Bruce Wayne jr.’s pager went off. Returning to the Batcave he checked the various cameras he had put about the city. The Hyena had been spotted entering a bank. As soon as the Batmobile hit the city limits of New York, the police were on his tail. He veered away from them darting into an alley. A ton of bricks slammed onto the Batmobile, stopping it in its tracks. Metal began screeching as the door to the Batmobile was slowly but inexorably torn open.

Deputized by the city of New York, Lyta and Arn Munro told Batman that he was under arrest.

Batman had augmented his suit for just such an eventuality. His suit had been covered with the extremely rare metals adamantium and vibranium and so the suit was well designed to withstand a great deal of punishment. The vibranium would also help Bruce from being injured from the great battering that the suit would entail. The adamantium claws and fins would eventually bruise and puncture even the dense muscle tissue of Arnold Munro.

After Arnold Munro had peeled the door away from the Batmobile, Lyta Munro the current Wonder Woman pulled Batman out of the car. To demonstrate that he would not be taken in so easily, Batman slammed his fist into her face as hard as it would go. The force shield belt that she wore protected her, but most of its power went for strength augmentation, so the blow still blooded her mouth. Wayne knew that although the Trevors had managed to upgrade the failing power source of the belt, Lyta only had a half hour of full strength before the belt needed to be recharged. With his improved armor he was nearly a match for Lyta in terms of strength and endurance. She took more damage than he. Bruce timed the blow correctly and pulled his punch when her shield gave out. She was knocked unconscious.

Batman then had to deal with an enraged Arnold Munro. He hit Munro with a sonic blast that distracted him long enough for Batman’s adamantium claws to batter Munro’s face. Munro’s tissue was denser than Batman had calculated; Munro was not taking damage as fast as Batman wished. He began using devices to distract or hurt Munro; an acid spray in the face, smoke bombs, flames from his fists. Munro was relentless and even Batman’s special armor began to dent and crack. Through various weak points, Batman began to feel pain from blows that would have cracked concrete. About an hour into their fight Batman began feeling very fatigued, the armor’s power supply became compromised and the armor became a liability rather than an asset. Making the armor move was an incredible strain. Batman felt a great ripping pain in his chest as one of Munro’s punches shattered his chest plate and knocked him several feet away.

As Batman slid into unconsciousness, he heard Lyta scream, “Stop it, you are killing him!”

As a result of his exhausting battle against Arnold Munro and his nearly two year non-stop full on assault on crime Bruce Wayne jr. suffered a massive coronary. Lyta and Arnold defibrillated him almost immediately and so saved his life and kept his heart from sustaining a great deal of damage, however Batman was for all intents out of business for a while.

Yet this was not the worst news, while Bruce jr. and Bruce sr. were convalescing, they received the news that Wayne Enterprises had been taken over by Lexcorp.

While Bane had been taking over Luther’s rackets Alexis Luther had been slowly and surely taking over the corporate structure of Waynetech, working his way through small holdings. Bruce Wayne jr was too oblivious to the takeover despite Lucius Fox’s strident pleas for him to take an interest in the company. Fox realized that Bruce was still in mourning so did not push it as hard as he should have. Fox fought the take over as best as he could, when it looked as though he would fail, he attempted to divest the Wayne estate from Waynetech so that the Waynes could keep as much of their personal property as they could, he also began closing facilities and folding them into foundations rather than letting Lexcorp take them over.

In the end the Wayne family was with some small holdings amounting to about 2 million dollars this was down from about 6.3 Billion. Lexcorp owned even the palatial Wayne Manor it was to be gutted and turned into a health club for Lexcorp executives. Shortly after the Waynes moved out however the Manor was rocked by a series of explosions, many people blamed the Waynes for the destruction, stating that Wayne had destroyed the mansion rather than let Alexis Luther have it. However odd as it seems, evidence later surfaced that made it clear that Bane and Two-Face had banded together to destroy the mansion.[44]

Batman had been broken physically and financially by Alexis Luther.

New York City was without Superman or Batman for the first time in decades. Luther was about to move his base of operations to Washington as he used his new rise in power and prestige to influence the Presidency of the United States to a greater degree than during the Reagan administration. Prior to withdrawing from New York he carved up much of his criminal empire into sections and sold by proxy to various criminal figures. He did this so that there would be only a small connection to Lexcorp to these criminal enterprises, so that the enterprises would continue in his absence and by selling them to many people he ensured that when he eventually wanted to return and retake the criminal enterprises, he could so fairly easily. As part of the price of payment, Lex Luther convinced the Reagan administration to have the Arkham Asylum reclassified so that many of the inhabitants would no longer be considered mentally ill. In essence they were given an early release. Lex kept tabs on the various criminals that bought the various sections of his empire and would play them against each other so they none of them ever succeeded in banding together and creating a large criminal empire.

New York’s crime rate rose dramatically. More than a million New Yorkers were on welfare, violent crime and crack cocaine had ravaged whole neighborhoods, and taxes and unemployment were sky-high. The squeegee pest was the city's mascot. The windows of parked cars were adorned with pathetic little signs that told thieves there was NO RADIO left to steal inside. Using computer-mapping techniques to pinpoint crime hot spots, Barbara Grayson aided by Helena Wayne, Lana Wayne as the new Bat-girl, and her grandson Timothy Drake as the new Robin[45] began reducing serious crime. Most people regarded New York outside of a few favored districts as a sort of No Man’s Land, especially in the areas where Batman usually patrolled. Richard Charles Grayson took several weeks of accumulated vacation from the Las Vegas Police Department and helped in the effort to bring New York back under control, patrolling the streets as Nightwing.[46]

Huntress and the Batgirl were able to drive one of the new crime bosses out his territory, Scarface. He was returned to prison. Scarface’s downfall was that his territory was not one the most profitable ones and he had very little experience at its main money making operation, drug trafficking. He tried a scam of selling protection disguised as earthquake insurance to the businesses in the area. They refused and the violent confrontations between Scarface’s men and the property owners caught the attention of the Oracle.

Nightwing and the Huntress prevented the Scarecrow, the Penguin and Black Mask from getting control of a cache of weapons that had been hidden inside an abandoned church in the Bronx. Although unmarked, Nightwing and the Huntress’s investigation proved that the weapons had only recently been placed in that location. Someone was playing a deep game in New York, pitting the criminals against one another and supplying them with the wherewithal for violent, destructive confrontations.

Nightwing discovered that the Penguin has a nice fencing operation set up in a warehouse. The Penguin was also running an illegal fight club wherein death matches are often fought. When Nightwing entered the warehouse the wily Penguin took one of the spectators as a hostage and tells Nightwing that unless he fought through that night’s card, Cobblepot would kill the hostage. After Nightwing has fought several of the fighters, The Penguin brought a halt to the fights and declared the results null and void because Nightwing left many of his opponents still alive. The real reason was because the Penguin had bet heavily against Nightwing and lost a lot of money. The crowd turned on Penguin but he made a getaway. Nightwing called the police so they could round up as many of the patrons and employees of the illegal club.

Two-Face took advantage of the Penguin’s problems to invade part of his territory.

Batgirl stopped a home invasion by some of Blackmask’s “blind” beggars. She discovers a group of people who had been shot to death. Clues seem to implicate that members of the police department had carried out an impromptu execution. After news of the massacre hits, Commissioner Essen reiterated her position that no costumed vigilantism would be tolerated in her city.

Acting as Luther’s agent in New York, Bane enacted a plan that would not only throw the city into more chaos but also make costumed vigilantes hated and hunted, not only by the police but also by the everyday citizens. He hired the one of the world’s top assassins who used the code name Cain. Not very original but he had high reviews. The target was Commissioner Essen.

Attempting to regain his lost territory, Oswald Cobblepot hired the psychopathic killer known as Mr. Freeze to terrify and kill people in the territory Harvey Dent had stolen from him. Nightwing found several of the frozen stiffs and tracked Mr. Freeze. Nightwing captured Mr. Freeze.

Nightwing and the Huntress rescued Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who had been running a free clinic in Brookyln. Dr. Mark Sinclair, the Lizard had captured her. In his reduced mental state Sinclair believed that he could somehow use her to acquire a criminal territory from one of the other crime bosses.

Some of the Penguins men forcibly took over a gasoline station and were selling the gasoline when Batgirl happened on the scene. She released the true owners and kept the thugs running the station from torching it once they were caught.

Helped by the Ghost Dragon gang, Nightwing freed a tenement building that had been converted into a crack production factory with its tenants being forced to work as slave laborers. Gang leader Nino Brown however escaped.

Bored with being a simple crime boss, the Joker decided to hold an impromptu Mayoral election. Harvey Kent took advantage of this by annexing much of the Joker’s territory. Bane had been keeping a watch on Harvey Dent, and had been accumulating territory and power, becoming the threat that Alexis Luther did not want to deal with when he returned to Gotham.

Oracle’s camera’s had snapped a shot of someone that the computer database connected to Interpol identified as a premier assassin. She informed Nightwing and the rest of her crew about Cain. Cain was reputedly one of the best martial artists in the world had been one of Bruce Wayne jr. instructors. Yet he was older and had succumbed to a drinking problem. Nightwing, the Huntress and Robin were able to neutralize and contain him. However they soon realized that Cain had wanted them to find him, he was a feint. The true assassin was very near her target.

Commissioner Sarah Essen was exiting her office building when Batgirl came swooping down from the room on a line, her foot extended for a lethal kick at the Commissioner’s throat. Batgirl was checked in a body tacked by another Batgirl. The two Batgirls began to fight. One was superior in terms of fighting style but the other had speed, endurance and strength. Eventually the second Bat-girl won out and knocked out her opponent. The first Batgirl was unmasked as a Eurasian girl about eleven years old. The girl was proved to be mute and unable to read or write. David Cain eventually admitted that she was his daughter Cassandra, whom he had kept from learning how to speak, read or write, wanting the martial arts to be her only language.[47] Cassandra Cain was placed into Children’s Services while her father went to jail. Barbara Grayson and Dick Grayson agreed to foster Cassandra Cain, hoping to turn her martial skills from a morally reprehensible use to socially positive one. Cassandra would once again become Batgirl, this time with Batman’s approval when Lana Wayne became Supergirl.

Bane arranged for the Penguin, the Owl and a few other crime leaders to make a confrontation on Harvey Kent’s fiefdom. While this was occurring and the police and vigilantes were occupied, Bane destroyed the Hall of Records and tried to hack into the Hall of Records computer. Karen Starr and Barbara Grayson were able to lock him out of the computer files after he had changed a couple of files. By comparing changed file with an earlier backup, they were able to see that Bane’s intention had been to illegal transfer ownership of many critical properties to Alexis Luther or Lexcorp.

In the aftermath of the loss of most of his territory, Harvey Dent captured former Police Commissioner, Tony Gordon and put him on trial for allowing the criminal element to run rampant. Dent was not rational and would not accept the defense that Gordon was no longer Commissioner of Police. Nightwing and the Huntress discovered the trial and the Huntress convinced Harvey Dent that she was Gordon’s defense attorney. The verdict comes down to the flip of a coin. Nightwing had replaced Harvey Dent’s coin that was scarred on two sides with a one that had no defacement at all.

Although he knew he had been tricked he allowed the Nightwing and Huntress to take Gordon out of the courthouse. They were not out of the courthouse when he flipped another coin and decided to kill them. They fled with the gunshots of Dent and his henchmen scoring the walls and floors behind them. The Huntress was hit several times. Dent and his men ran out of the warehouse serving as Dent’s courtroom and into a police cordon.

The Joker having learned about the failed assassination attempt on Commissioner Essen decided to do the job properly. He and Harley Quinn took over the maternity ward of the largest hospital in New York. He threatened to kill the babies unless the police stayed far away from the hospital. He would give himself up to one person, Commissioner Sarah Essen, because she had such a nice smile.

Commissioner Essen agreed to meet with the Joker but would not do so unarmed. Joker agreed that this was acceptable. When Essen entered the maternity ward, the Joker threw a newborn at her. When she dove to catch it, Joker bypassed her kelvar armor by shooting her directly in the head. Laughing uproariously, he walked out of the hospital and surrendered the police.

Rather than expose Alexis Luther’s connection to Bane and his illegal tinkering with property documents, Oracle made a deal with Alexis Luther. Let Wayne Enterprises alone and they would leave Luther’s interests alone.

Concurrent with the Bat Family’s fight against crime in the Gotham section of New York[48] was what has come to be known as The Reign of the Supermen, in which four people not necessarily related to the Supermen tried to take up the slack in the absence of Superman, Supergirl and Powerwoman. The four people were dubbed the Superboy, the Last Son of Krypton, The Man of Steel and The Man of Tomorrow. This part of the story will be dealt with in the Superman article.


NOTES Free Web Stats in real-time !

[1] Although Bruce Wayne is a member of the extended Wold Newton family through his descent from his Mother and Father they are from branches which predate the Wold Newton Event. Martha Kane is a descendent of Solomon Kane, who of course predates the Wold Newton Event.

[2] The circus owner may have stopped paying the protection money at one point. The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus suffered a horrendous fire in Hartford Connecticut in 1945 when the Big Top caught flame.

[3] TOO MANY STAINS (THE ADVENTURE OF THE SECOND STAIN) This short story is edited by Marvin Kaye, from a manuscript by Rex Stout, based on the notes of Dr. Watson. In the volume Resurrected Holmes, Marvin Kaye, ed., 1996.

[4] In the Best Families by Rex Stout

[5] Dick Tracy was of course the plainclothes detective whose career was made famous in various medium. :Like Bruce Wayne he was plagued by a series of grotesque villains. Tracy is related to Bruce Wayne through his father's side of the family. Thomas Wayne's aunt married a Tracy.

[6] Joe Napier's intelligence and physical abilities were in part derived from his descent from the Star Inn families, a collection of families affected by a meteorite fall in 1666.  This descent  may also be one of the causes of his evil propensities, as other member families include the Drummonds, Fagins, Noels, Moriartys and Heeps. It was through a mixture of a few of these, although especially the latter that Joseph Napier was descended.

[7] Philip Kent or Philip Charbonneau was the founder of the Kent family whose influence in the publishing, newspaper and political arenas are well known. For indepth information read John Jakes The Kent Family chronicle series of novels.

[8] See the Claws of the Cat-Woman miniseries for greater details, Claws of the Cat-Woman, Dark Horse Comics 1999

[9] Why did Khefretari choose the name Selina Kyle? She enjoyed playing games and her chosen name was a puzzle.  The Selina part is fairly easy to figure out. Selene was a moon goddess, which is fitting considering her activities took place at night. Also Bastet, one of the cat-headed goddesses to whose cult Khefretari  was a priestess, was also a lunar deity. It also rhymed with feline. Kyle is however problematic and may have been derived from Egyptian words one of which may have been ky (another). It could be her selected name Selina Kyle was also a sort of devotional prayer as well as a pun.  Selina (Invoking the goddess Bastet through her Greek avatar Selene) Kyle which could have meant “another gift for you”. In essence, her name meant, “Here is another gift for you Selene

[10] These OSS missions were often in concert with either Sgt. Frank Rock and his commando squadron or the man known as the Unknown Soldier. Depictions of these missions appeared in the DC Comic Brave and the Bold.

[11] Although the first Bat-girl as portrayed in the comic books was the niece of Kathy Kane also known as Batwoman, this was merely erroneous speculation or deliberate mistruth on the part of the comic book writers. Bat-girl was Barbara Gordon until she was succeeded by Helena Wayne. Barbara Gordon was from James Gordon's first marriage, which had been to Barbara Lane, who was oddly enough a cousin of Louis Lane.

[12] It was in fact the Wayne foundation that helped with Bucky Barnes medical bills and mental health bills when Bucky became serious injured in 1947 working with a second Captain America. To make certain that old enemies did not take advantage of Bucky's vulnerable state, Bruce and Dick arranged via contacts in the intelligence and U. S. Army probably Nick Fury and the Unknown Soldier to have the record state that Bucky died at the same time as Captain America.

[13] If you take the comic book stories literally Ras Al Ghul met and fought with Batman in the seventies..  However we are attempting to ferret out the truth from the comic book continuity, so although these Batman's involvement with Ras Al Ghul were depicted as taking place in the 1970's in reality they occurred much earlier and the information was not given to the writers until the seventies.

[14] This part may be unbelievable to some noting that Batman would never allow himself to be drugged. Perhaps, but Fu Manchu was a master herbalist adept at disguising his potions when he wished. As for the posthypnotic suggestion it may not have been perfect but Bruce may have believed that he was having a dream about his estranged wife but that the dark haired woman that kept floating into his vision was a dream representation of  Selina Kyle.

[15]. Who was Talia or rather Te Liu's mother? Well dismissing the idea that she was of Middle Eastern heritage, (although it would be possible with Fu Manchu's contacts in that region) we began turned our researchers more East and discovered an odd coincidence, if it is indeed a coincidence. Talia or Te Liu's mother was the aunt of Mei Liu the wife of Joel Kent. Both ladies were descended from the surviving family of masters of the martial arts who had killed seven golden vampires in 1904.

[16] Langstrom was an urban myth in that very few people ever saw him and those that did refused to acknowledge his reality. Langstrom was a specialist in bats who was ironically bitten by a nosferatu in the 1930s. The nosferatu was the Monk, one of the first villains Batman had fought. As a joke the Monk sealed Langstrom up tomb without allowing him to feed before hand. When the starving Langstrom was released from his tomb he was making the transition from human to bat when sunlight hit him full on. He fell back in the tomb and lay in a coma for decades. When he awoke he was stuck halfway in the transformation between man and bat.

[18] This Catwoman was often confused with the original although she was a female Caucasian and she merely used the name Cynthia Calley. Her real name is indeterminate although it may have been Gallant or Clayton. She began her criminal career as a prostitute and was a well-known dominatrix. She hid that aspect of her life by creating another identity or rather by re-creating the persona of the Catwoman. Selina Wayne was not pleased with her unwanted successor.

[19] CIALD stands for Combined Intelligence and Logistical Developments. It is a government intelligence agency associated with but not under direct control of the CIA or NSA. CIALD coordinates the activities of specially skilled or powered government agents and also investigates and deals with threats posed by villains that fall into the scientific X-Files category. CIALD is affiliated with the IMF, OSI although all these agencies run semi-independently. CIALD is an outgrowth of Bureau 13, a government agency dealing with supernatural threats posed to the United States. Abraham Lincoln created Bureau 13 shortly before his death. (For more on Bureau 13, please see Bureau 13, Full Moonster and Doomsday Exam by Nick Polotta. President Franklin Roosevelt formed CIALD as a means of keeping tabs on and also using the resources that the costumed vigilantes or villains could provide. It began as Section 31 of Bureau 13 but soon expanded into an agency of its own, collaborating with the OSS and other intelligence services. The ISD was also an outgrowth of Section 31.
    Because it coordinated the activities of costumed vigilantes for missions, often combining them in mission teams there arose the notion that there were an organizations composed of costumed vigilantes, such as the Justice Society of America or the later the Justice League of America.  Although the CIALD helped promulgate the notion that these organizations did in fact exist (as a means of identifying powered and non-powered vigilantes) they in fact did not exist. Most of the costumed vigilantes stuck to their own territories and only worked together when asked to do so by the CIALD or when their own particular paths crossed for various reasons.
    The famous Baltimore Club was a recruiting and meeting place for agents of Bureau 13, the infamous Cobalt Club was a recruiting, meeting and sanctuary for the agents of Section 31 and CIALD

[20] The Previous director of CIALD had been Lt. Colonel Nicholas Fury. He had disappeared while on a mission earlier in the year. No trace of his whereabouts had yet been discovered. Bruce Wayne had known Nick Fury from his covert actions in WWII when he had worked with Sgt. Rock and Easy Company and also with Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos.

[21] After Bruce Wayne had left the office of Police Commissioner, Tony Gordon, the son of long time Police Commissioner was urged to run. He was Police Commissioner from 1974-1980.

[22] Quite possibly Ras Al Ghul had something to do with this. Ras Al Ghul created a method of rejuvenating himself using a combination of chemistry and electromagnetism. He bathed himself in a toxic stew at various electromagnetic junction points on the earth. This rarely worked on anyone but Ras Al Ghul and if it did, the side effect was usually madness. However the Joker was already insane.

[23] This incident was depicted in Batman Superman Generations Volume 1, No 2.

[24] For more on the background of the Yellow Claw read The Devil Doctor: The Early History of Fu Manchu

[25] Batman’s files included the information that Mark Todd had been a costumed vigilante known as the Blazing Skull

[26] These psychiatrists were Bartholomew Wolper and Simpson Flanders. Both had been on the staff of Arkham.. very briefly. They were unable to deal with the threats of homicide from many of the inmates and departed for the private sector. Wolper was depicted in The Dark Knight Returns, Flanders was depicted in Knightfall.

[27] This Robin was  Dick Grayson who had come out of retirement for this case. He wore a modified version of his Robin suit. In the comics this suit was portrayed as the costume of the adult Earth 2 Robin first seen in All Star Comics 58. Dick’s nearly fatal injuries reduced his agility and strength precluding him from being a full time vigilante. He came along for back up.

[28] Depicted in Knightfall 1 Batman 492 early May 1993

[29] Knightfall 2 Detective Comics 659

[30] Knightfall 3 Batman 493

[31] As seen in the Alligator People,

[32] Knightfall 4 late Detective 660 May

[33] Knightfall 5 Batman 494 early June 1993

[34] This Commissioner Gordon was Tony Gordon, the son of James Gordon.

[35] Knightfall 6 Detective Comics 661

[36] Knightfall 7 Batman 495

[37] Knightfall 8 Detective Comics late june 1993

[38] Knightfall 9 Batman 496 

[39] Knightfall 10 Detective 663 early July 1993

[40] Knightfall 13 Showcase 93 July 1993 and  Knightfall 14 Showcase 93 August 1993. Although the comic version places these events at the beginning of the Knightfall plan, they were published sequentially after the breaking of Batman and so hint that they took place either concurrent with it or just before it.

[41] Knightfall 11 Batman 497 late July 93

[42] Knightfall 12 Detective 664 late july 1993

[43] The Mutant leader was on a derivative of Venom and had dental implants. All of these courtesy of Lexcorp, although untraceably.

[44] The Wayne Mansion was destroyed in Dark Knight Returns No. 4. and in Cataclysm storyline that appeared in Batman and Detective comics in 1998. That Bane and Two-Face were responsible for the destruction was revealed in Kingdom Come No. 1. The earthquake that struck Gotham and destroyed Wayne Manor and the Batcave as depicted in Cataclysm was a metaphor for the destruction of  Batman’s base of operations,  the dismantling of the Wayne corporate empire and the resulting chaos in New York without the presence of Batman, Superman or Luther.

[45] The Third Robin was Timothy Drake, the grandson of Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon and the grandson of John Drake of the British Secret Service.

[46] For more information on Richard Grayson’s career as Nightwing please see Nightwing by David Kennedy.

[47] David Caine (birth name) Munny, claimed to be a descendent of the legendary Kane the immortal.  His daughter was descended from Kwai Chang Caine through her mother Lu Shan (see Wonder Woman article for background on Lu Shan). After a short disappearance Lu Shan emerged as one of the preeminent martial artists in the world using the name Lady Shiva. She hid her true identity by assuming the name of a former martial artist named Sandra Wu-San.

[48] This was depicted metaphorically as No Man’s Land in the Batman series of comics in 1993