Batman: The Dark Knight

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Batman: The Dark Knight

Post by Uncle Tony on Thu May 23, 2013 2:36 am

In early 1939, the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors at the comic book division of National Publications (the future DC Comics) to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane created "the Bat-Man." Collaborator Bill Finger recalled "Kane had an idea for a character called 'Batman', and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of ... reddish tights, I believe, with boots ... no gloves, no gauntlets ... with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign ... BATMAN."
Finger offered such suggestions as giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves, and removing the red sections from the original costume. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character's secret identity: "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Bruce, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock ... then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne." He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk's popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was familiar as well.
Kane and Finger drew upon contemporary 1930s popular culture for inspiration regarding much of the Bat-Man's look, personality, methods and weaponry. Details find predecessors in pulp fiction, comic strips, newspaper headlines, and autobiographical details referring to Kane himself. As an aristocratic hero with a double identity, the Bat-Man had predecessors in the Scarlet Pimpernel (created by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, 1903) and Zorro (created by Johnston McCulley, 1919). Like them he performed his heroic deeds in secret, averted suspicion by playing the fool in public, and marked his work with a signature symbol. Kane specifically noted the influence of the films The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Bat Whispers (1930) in the creation of the character's iconography. Finger, drawing inspiration from pulp heroes like Doc Savage, The Shadow, and Sherlock Holmes, made the character a master sleuth.

Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, an American billionaire playboy, industrialist, and philanthropist. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on criminals, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his crime-fighting partner, Robin, his butler Alfred Pennyworth, the police commissioner Jim Gordon, and occasionally the heroine Batgirl. He fights an assortment of villains, often referred to as the "rogues gallery," which includes the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Ra's al Ghul, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman, among others. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation in his continuous war on crime.

Batman has no inherent superhuman powers. To compensate for this, he relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess." In the stories, Batman is regarded as one of the world's greatest detectives, if not the world's greatest crime solver. In Grant Morrison's first storyline in JLA, Superman describes Batman as "the most dangerous man on Earth," able to defeat a team of superpowered aliens by himself in order to rescue his imprisoned teammates. He has spent a significant portion of his life traveling the world and acquiring the skills needed to aid in his crusade against crime. His knowledge and expertise in almost every discipline known to man is nearly unparalleled by any other character in the DC Universe. He is also a master of disguise, often gathering information under the identity of Matches Malone, a notorious gangster. Additionally, the Batman has been repeatedly described as one of the greatest martial artists in the DC Universe; his skills in hand-to-hand combat are said to rival such notable martial artists as Lady Shiva, Bronze Tiger, and Richard Dragon. His batsuit also aids in his combat against enemies, having the properties of both Kevlar and Nomex. It protects him from gunfire and other significant impacts. However, Batman's most defining characteristic is his strong commitment to justice and his unwillingness to take life, regardless of the situation he has faced. This unyielding moral rectitude has earned him the respect of several heroes in the DC Universe, most notably that of Superman and Wonder Woman.



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Uncle Tony
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Re: Batman: The Dark Knight

Post by Wednesday Toys on Thu May 23, 2013 4:04 pm

This armoured arkham asylum Batman always reminds me of the villain from G-Force Battle of the Planets. If his 'ears' were angled differently, I think he'd be a dead wringer!

Great write-up, too.
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