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Batman: Bruce Wayne
This marks the first inclusion into a running series of articles featuring the characters of the Batman comic book series. This article will feature the iconic character of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego in the Batman. Bruce Wayne was the prodigal son of his very successful father Thomas Wayne, although he was a bit of a playboy it was all a ruse to distract people from his alter ego in the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight he roamed Gotham City protecting those who couldn't fight off injustice on their own. He became a symbol of something better than a man, he became incorruptible and a legend. Batman may just be the darkest of all of the heroes in the DC Universe and does not have any super powers outside of his bank account.
As a young child he had to see the tragic death of his parents as they were leaving a theater and were confronted by a mugger who wanted Martha Wayne's pearl necklace. Thomas refused to surrender the necklace to the mugger and when he refused the mugger shot both of Bruce's parents dead. Bruce came under the care of the Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth in the Wayne Mansion. The event traumatized young Bruce and throughout his childhood he had very little friends. As he grew older he began to hate the evil growing in Gotham and took an oath to himself to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. From that moment, he spent his youth traveling the world training himself intellectually and physically. He studied criminology while also learning the skills of martial arts, gymnastic, disguise, forensics and the art of escape. At the age of fourteen he went from one school to another and never stayed in one school for longer than a semester. He was trained in multiple martial arts techniques from many different instructors, one including the man-hunting Henri Ducard. At the age of twenty, Bruce tried to join the FBI but quickly realized that he would never completely be able to oppose crime while working under the strict regulations of the legal system.
After training for many years, Bruce returned to Gotham City with his mind and body trained to perfection. Despite all of his superior training, he still felt something was missing from his ability to truly make a difference and to stop the injustice. He found what he was missing one day when he was sitting around his manor and recalled his fear of bats as a child when one night a large bat crashed through one of the windows. With this in mind, he ultimately decided to change his appearance to resemble a bat. Bruce would then go on to create a costume equipped with experimental technology and set out against the crime and corruption that had been thriving for years in Gotham. His extreme tactics proved successful over time which led to his alter ego who was now being called "Batman" started to become a urban legend of sorts in Gotham. Bruce's first real ally would go to be assistant district attorney Harvey Dent and then one of the very few remaining honest cops in James Gordon. The two developed a working relationship operating outside of the law when needed, Gordon also became Batman's greatest ally.
Batman's presence and the extreme that he went to generated a new breed of criminals in town. No longer did Gotham have the normal petty thugs and criminals but instead they had much more darker and dynamic personalities. The first criminal inspired by him was Selina Kyle, who used his style and methods to suit her to go on to become Catwoman, a dangerous seductress and thief. The next challenge he met was in the form of a mad scientist to the name of Hugo Strange. Strange had created Monster Men to carry out his nefarious acts in most occasions as he was often the man behind the curtain. However his greatest nemesis came in the form of the Joker, a brilliant serial killer dressing like a clown that would murder uncontrollably. The Joker had been exposed to chemicals in an accident that drove him insane and would blame Gotham for it while swearing he would get his revenge on the city for creating him. This confrontation with the Joker led to the creation of the Bat-Signal, a giant spotlight that would light up the sky with a symbol of a bat to let him know when there was danger. One of his greatest allies in Harvey Dent would go on to become corrupted and develop into one of his greatest failures while also being one of his greatest enemies. The mob would burn half of his face off during a trial earning him the nickname Two-Face. Many more villains popped up afterwards and when the Batman would eventually deal with them he and Gordon would place them in Arkham Asylum.