Characters / Batman And Bat Family

This page has Batman and his allies that are "officially" part of the Bat-family. Bold indicates currently held identities, since many of these characters have held multiple identities.

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    Tropes shared by the whole Batfamily 
  • Badass Family
  • Badass Normal
  • Bat Family Crossover: Trope Namer
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Batman has had intense training for more than a decade to prepare for his war on crime. He has also given nearly equally intense training to all of his proteges.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Batman is blue, Robin is red, and Batgirl is purple when they work as a trio especially early in their careers. Once people start taking on new identities and new characters fill the old mantles it gets more complicated and irrelevant.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As Batman once said, it's not fighting unfair, it's winning.
  • Crazy-Prepared: It's how they're able to keep up with their superpowered colleagues.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Except for Damian, who's been trained from birth to use them, but he comes to abide by this rule of the Bat-family while with Dick. Jason and Kate Kane are also exempt.
  • Dysfunction Junction: See their individual sections. The DC Universe seems to have a compulsion against giving any of the Batfamily a happy life.
    • It's an explicit editorial mandate (with the New 52, at least) that no DC hero may have a happy personal life or be married. It has also been mandated that members of the Bat Family have to have miserable personal lives.
    • It's even been mentioned now and then that Batman's mother's side of the family may well be suffering "the curse of Kane", as virtually anyone connected in some way to Bruce's mother's family tree suffers misfortune.
  • The Team: In general, Batman is The Leader, Robin is the Kid Sidekick and Batgirl is The Chick.
    • More specifically, Bruce Wayne/Batman is The Leader and later the Big Good of the Batfamily, mostly levelheaded and mastermind type. Dick Grayson/Nightwing is The Lancer, his cheery personality as a child and charisma as an adult make him a foil to the brooding Bruce, and a much more respected leader whenever he takes charge. Barbara Gordon/Oracle becomes Mission Control and Team Mom feeding others intelligence reports from afar. Jason Todd/Red Hood is the Token Evil Teammate as a Fallen Hero that is sometimes on their side but just as likely a villain. Tim Drake/Red Robin is a Gadgeteer Genius variety Smart Guy, and generally Bruce's Number Two since Dick usually rides solo. Damian/Robin is the Young Gun and current Kid Sidekick, who's dark, overly ambitious and still adjusting to Bruce's code. Cassandra Cain/Black Bat is The Quiet One, and Stephanie Brown/Spoiler the The Chick as the most upbeat and hopeful of the family. Alfred is consistently in the background as Old Retainer Team Dad and occasionally Battle Butler. Selina Kyle/Catwoman is the most recurring Sixth Ranger bouncing back and forth between a heroic and a villainous Dark Chick.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill
    • Once again except for Jason and to a degree Damian (who was raised to be a killer, and abides by the Batfamily's no-kill policy but still doesn't entirely believe in it)

    Batman (Bruce Wayne) 

"Ladies. Gentlemen. You have eaten well. You've eaten Gotham's wealth. Its spirit. Your feast is nearly over. From this moment onnone of you are safe."

Bruce Wayne was a carefree child born into the humongously wealthy and prominent Wayne family, but one night, after seeing a movie (usually something to do with Zorro - if you know the background of Zorro, you'll know why that's important), he and his loving parents took a shortcut through a dark alleyway, inevitably leading to a mugger (named Joe Chill in most versions) shooting both of them dead.

The distraught Bruce was raised in current continuity by the family butler, Alfred Pennyworth, as well as the family doctor, Leslie Thompkins. (pre-Crisis, Bruce was raised by his uncle Philip Wayne, with Alfred only joining the Wayne household in Bruce's adulthood). The memory, however, would never fade, and Bruce, realizing what a Crapsack World Gotham was, decided to do something about it.

As soon as he was of age to inherit the family fortune, Bruce engaged on a world-wide journey, rigorously studying mathematics, science, martial arts, you name it. Many years later, he returned to Gotham, ready to fight crime as a vigilante, but on his first night out, realized that he lacked one element: fear.

When a bat that suddenly crashed into his living room reminded him of an incident in his youth, when he stumbled into a cave full of bats, he decided to adopt a bat motif as a means to terrify criminals and become the legendary figure Batman. This has worked to some degree, as most common criminals are scared shitless of him, and organized crime began to lose its hold on the city, but nearly as soon as Batman made his debut, a new breed of criminals began to pop up... ones dressed in garish costumes and bearing colorful masks... which unfortunately causes many people to wonder if Batman is directly responsible for the criminals he faces.

As years went on, Bruce has joined many superteams in the fight against crime, most notably the Justice League of America and the Outsiders. Unfortunately, due to the growing cynicism in the DC Universe, Batman began to distrust others more and more, which was ultimately addressed in Infinite Crisis, where the Brother Eye satellite he created was responsible for the creation and control of the metahuman-hunting cyborgs, the O.M.A.C.s. Following his Heel Realization, Bruce took off for a year in order to rebuild Batman. He was the target of the villainous organization, the Black Glove, who wished to break him utterly and kill him. Barely escaping, he was tortured by the New God Darkseid to be used as a template for new soldiers. After an attempt to kill Darkseid, Bruce Wayne was ultimately 'killed' by the Omega Sanction which sent his soul into an endless loop of lives, each one worse than the last. As expected of as popular a character as he, he came back, and he decided to make the Batman idea an international organization called Batman, Inc, while leaving the title of Gotham's Batman to his first Robin Dick Grayson. After the New 52 reboot, Bruce is back to being Gotham's Batman.

Note that while Bruce Wayne is the most famous and most shown Batman, he is by no means the only one. Various other characters have taken up the mantle. But make no mistake: he is THE Batman. If anyone ever just refers to "Batman", they're referring to Bruce. Terry, Azrael, and Dick typically need an addendum to the name if you're talking about them.

  • The Ace/Broken Ace: While Batman stands head and shoulders above the greater majority of heroes in the DCU, it's fairly obvious that in doing so he's not the most well-adjusted or emotionally mature individual, has great difficulty forming close relationships, and frequently experiences friction with people whom he is close to. This is also occasionally acknowledged by Bruce himself; in one instance, Nightwing laments over the belief that he can never match up to Bruce, who assures him that despite living a very similar life in the same line of work Dick hadn't allowed it to mess him up as much, having a much more positive personality and maintaining a good relationship with every fellow hero he knows, and as such was already better than him.
  • Action Hero: Batman is involved in plenty of action. He is a top martial artist who is trained. Batman is able to take on numerous people at a time.
  • Advantage Ball: Batman almost always has the advantage in direct conflict. Three guys with knives or a dozen Mooks with machine guns, it makes no difference. As such, the general method of his rogues gallery to deal with him is to attack him indirectly, especially by undermining what he believes in and threatening those he values.
  • All Guys Want Bad Girls: Bats likes his women tough, dangerous and morally ambiguous. Hence his clear preference for villainesses such as Talia Al Ghul (whom he got over) and Catwoman (whom he likes much more than he would ever admit). He actually used this to figure out that someone was actually a villainess. In fact, this tendency was enough to convince him in "Batman RIP" that the woman he was becoming attracted to was The Mole out to betray him to the bad guys - she was a bit too nice for him...
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: After Selina got badly hurt by Hush who was trying to get to him through her, Bruce visits her at the hospital, unmasked, and eventually confesses that she's the only woman to have ever held a place in his heart.
  • Anti-Hero: Generally a Knight in Sour Armour or a Pragmatic Hero. In his earliest days, he was an Unscrupulous Hero and actually willfully killed criminals, a stark contrast to his Thou Shalt Not Kill attitude in modern times. However, Batman's status as an anti-hero ultimately depends on who's writing or portraying him; many have leaned towards a more traditional idea of heroism. For example, while Frank Miller's fits this trope like a glove, it's really hard to describe Adam West's Batman as an anti-hero. Values Dissonance plays a big role in this. Back then, using a gun to fight criminals was considered standard in comic books, and no one saw it as "immoral" or "anti-heroic" in the slightest. In fact, Batman was portrayed as more of an Ideal Hero than he does nowadays, in most cases.
    • Batman Beyond gives us the image of Bruce Wayne just like that - an old man with no wife, no children, and no family except for his dog. He finds a new family in Terry McGinnis the new Batman who is also his son thanks to a clandestine genetic experiment.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Of a sort. Bruce Wayne loses his parents at a young age to a completely random tragedy, essentially destroying his established notions about the order of the world and his place in it. Becoming Batman is his way of giving his life a new meaning and imposing his own sense of order on a chaotic world.
  • Badass: This is a given. He has saved the world hundreds of times and defeated countless supervillains using his martial arts training, detective skills and advanced technology. Batman is a very skilled warrior rightfully feared by criminals. No other normal human has ever given Superman such an ass-kicking as Batman.
  • Badass Baritone: Most versions of him have this and it is very easy for readers to imagine him speaking in a very deep voice, partly due to Kevin Conroy's extensive voiceover work.
  • Badass Cape: He wore his cape this way long before it was popular. Still does!
    • That, and Batman's cape lets him glide in some versions.
    • Batman Forever had Batman covering himself with his fire-proofed cape in order to shield himself from the flames of a burning building that Two-Face trapped him in. Only Batman could have pulled this off.
    • Batman's cape is so awesome that it actually has the ability to change size. (Particularly evident in Batman: The Animated Series) When he's investigating for clues inside, the cape comes down to his knees, but when posing on a rooftop dramatically, it grows longer than his whole body. Now that's badass!
  • Badass and Child Duo: Batman and all of the other Robins and Batgirls.
    • Currently, Bruce/Batman with Damian/Robin (who happens to be his biological son).
  • Badass Normal: The Trope Codifier for superheroes. Those who do not realize this usually end up learning it all too well.
    • He fills this role when he's required to be in an ensemble. Despite having no inherent superpowers, he's earned a spot in the inner circle of the Justice League of America, fighting alongside the likes of Superman courtesy of a steel-trap intellect combined with a bit of a mean streak that means he can consider plans other members can't, and consider them well. Batman has the proven ability to develop the means to disable each of his fellow Leaguers — proven when those plans were stolen by villains and used to great effect. Batman's badassery has been stretched to ridiculous proportions, and many comic readers firmly believe that Batman is invincible. And some writers agree.
      • Wesley Willis put him in his place, though.
      • To put it another way, whenever a Justice League villain mockingly says of Batman, "He doesn't even have any powers!", get some popcorn.
      • An Elseworld Spectre has described him as "the zenith of human fortitude and ambition", while an in canon Superman described him more simply as "the most dangerous man on the planet".
      • Honestly, Batman's Badass Normal status is cemented by the fact that several high-profile beings (including the above mentioned Spectre and Superman) have such high regard for a "mere mortal". Harbringer once referred to him as "the Scourge of all Evil."
      • Batman is such a badass normal, current Batman writer Grant Morrison has stated that he actually does have superpowers. What is his superpower? Being Batman.
      • It got to the point where when Neil Gaiman wrote Batman's funeral in Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? it's stated that Batman's reward for his life isn't to die, but to be reborn again as Batman in another universe. He's so badass death doesn't stop him, and the laws of creation can't stop him in his quest to fight crime.
      • He actually JUDO-FLIPPED SUPERMAN across a god damned ROOM during World's Finest in Superman: The Animated Series, and Supes looked dazed. Superman doesn't take it well and shoulder-rams Batman across the other side of the room — only for Batman to get right back up and shove a chunk of Kryptonite in his face.
  • Bash Brothers: On occasions, Batman and Robin. This trope could have easily been called "Dynamic Duo".
    • Batman and Red Hood/Robin II: even after all the time that passed between Jason's death and his return, they're able to fall right back in to this and work together flawlessly.
    • Also, with Superman. Examined in the World's Finest maxiseries; the first time they meet with the explicit purpose of working together, they're at a function as Bruce and Clark when the guest of honor, a world-famous plastic surgeon is kidnapped. They split up and both go after the kidnapper, which so spooks the hostage that he runs out into the street and gets himself killed. When they compare notes they both observe that this happened because they didn't work together. The rest of the series is about their annual meetings to honor their failure and learn to work together until they're working as a well-oiled machine. Some of their guilt is mitigated when they learn at the end of the maxiseries that said hostage was actually the surgeon's body double who had kidnapped and replaced the real man after giving him amnesia in an attempt to steal his fortune. The real reason he was so spooked was because he was afraid that Batman and Superman would expose his scheme.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Trope Namer. Batman does this in one of the early issues of Justice League International (granted, it was due to the New Genesis-created training satellite's programming directive to not actually harm its opponents, thus causing it to create an artificial atmosphere when Bats's space helmet gets broken, but all the same).
    • One issue of Justice League of America showed Batman training himself, not to be able to breathe in space, but to at least survive the vacuum of space for a couple of seconds. The Martian Manhunter helps while wondering if he should.
  • Batman Gambit: Trope Namer. Again.
  • Becoming the Mask: Bruce Wayne adopted the identity of Batman as a means to fight injustice. As with most Batman tropes, this is the dark version. It's not that he loves being Batman so much he doesn't want to go back to being Bruce Wayne. It's that he IS Batman because he has to be even when dressed and acting like Bruce Wayne. It's a strong contrast to the modern version of Superman, who always thinks of himself as Clark Kent regardless of the costume.
    • In an episode of Batman Beyond, a villain puts a device in Bruce Wayne's ear that constantly talks to him, trying to make people think he's crazy with age and hearing voices. Bruce easily deduces someone's trying to drive him mad and eventually Terry McGinnis finds the culprit and brings him to justice, and this conversation ensues:
    Terry: Tell me something, why were you so sure those voices weren't coming from you.
    Bruce: Well first, I know I'm not psychotic.
    Terry: I hope your other reason's more convincing.
    Bruce: And second, the voice kept calling me "Bruce." In my mind, that's not what I call myself.
    Terry: What DO you call yourself?
    (Cue "Do I really have to say it?" stare from BATMAN)
    Terry: Oh yeah... I suppose you would... but that's MY name now...
    Bruce: Tell THAT to my subconscious...
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension / Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Catwoman, mostly. And, even though he hates to admit it, he thoroughly enjoys it. So does she.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ever kill an ally or close friend of his — if you do you'd better hope he keeps his no killing rule. Batman's done this twice with The Joker; first when the Joker killed Jason Todd, and second when Batman thought the Joker killed his childhood friend Thomas Elliot (since the Joker's the trope namer for Joker Immunity, he survived both attacks).
    • He also has a very dim view of bad things happening to children, as the Sewer King found out the hard way.
      Batman: I don't pass sentence. That's for the courts to decide. But this time, this time, I am sorely tempted to do the job myself.
      • If you kill a couple in front of their young child, Batman will 1.) Have a flashback and 2.) Hunt you down no matter where you go. And then 3.) Make. You. Suffer. Like you have never suffered before or, you will hope, since.
      • Then there's the chilling scene in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker in which Batman is subjected to watching the Joker torture and brainwash Tim Drake. Batman reacts with a fury that leaves no illusions to his intent.
      Batman: (To Joker) I'll break you in two.
      • One story deconstructed the "kill a couple in front of their young child" button. Batman was pursuing a criminal named Angel Lupo for murdering his pregnant sister. While on the run, Lupo shot and killed a couple in front of their son leaving the boy in a state of shock. Batman has the usual flashback and is bent on bringing Lupo to justice. Then it's revealed that Angel had nothing to do with the first murder. His girlfriend (without his knowledge) had his sister killed in order to free him of the responsibility of caring for his sister. Not that it matters, since the baby's father (the Ventriloquist) guns down Lupo in a fit of misdirected vengeance. Then it turns out that Lupo didn't kill the boy's parents either — the boy shot and killed his own parents and Lupo just happened to be nearby when it happened. Batman's Berserk Button made him pursue a man who, while still a career criminal, didn't commit any of the murders in the story and led him astray from the real killers.
    Batman: Everything I've done in the past three nights, I've been doing for the wrong little boy.
  • Betrayal Insurance: The idea that Batman has a stockpile of kryptonite in case Superman ever goes rogue is extremely common. The idea that he also has plans to take down any other Justice League member he might have to is almost as common.
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • Blood Knight: Loathe as he is to admit it, there's a big part of Bruce Wayne that really, really enjoys the violence that comes with being Batman. It's also strongly implied that he uses this enjoyment of fighting as an anger release outlet so that he doesn't snap and kill someone.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: In Superman: Red Son. Also, he's been described as an "idealist anarchist" by Frank Miller. So did one of the actors who played him.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: Trope Namer.
    • The Long Halloween had a variant where Poison Ivy was hired by mobsters to mind-control Bruce Wayne into going along with a money laundering scheme; since this was early in his career, there was no Robin, but thankfully Selina Kyle caught on to Bruce's odd behavior and saved the day as Catwoman.
    • In a comic book version of the animated series universe, Bruce Wayne is taken hostage on a charity cruise by Poison Ivy and her overgrown plant henchmen. To escape, Bruce Wayne makes a "foolish" attack at the villains and is immediately swatted overboard, where he is free to swim to cover and become Batman.
      • That happened in the cartoon too, they just later put it in the comic... Or vice versa.
    • Subverted in The Sword of Azrael, in which Bruce spends the miniseries captured, and is rescued by Azrael.
      • Though the kidnappers had nothing against Batman or Robin specifically, a variation of this trope showed up in a Robin comic wherein Tim Drake got himself kidnapped on purpose in order to save the other kids who'd been grabbed.
  • Building Swing: Goes hand in hand with his Grappling-Hook Gun.
    • When not in the Batmobile, the animated Batman often uses a high-tech grappling gun to swing dramatically across Gotham City. Maybe just when the traffic's bad. In the live action Batman, clumsily-produced Batarang and rope sequences were used from time to time, along with the lame sideways-wall bit. Batman first used his grappling gun in the 1989 Tim Burton movie, though in this case he tended to use them just to go straight up, or horizontally on a zipline rather than swinging like Spider-Man.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Batman's costume has evolved into a suit of advanced lightweight armor with the Chest Insignia intended to draw fire to his thick chest piece.
  • Byronic Hero
  • Cain and Abel: If Lincoln March really is Thomas Wayne Jr, then Bruce is the Abel.
  • Captain Ersatz: On his first appearance, he was The Shadow in a bat costume. There's also quite a bit of Zorro in his DNA, which has been acknowledged in most recent versions by establishing that it was a Zorro movie he and his parents went to see on the fatal night.
  • Characterization Marches On: To be expected with over 70 years of comics. It may be particularly jarring for some readers though, upon seeing some of his earlier incarnations. Like the 60's version with Camp, but even further back, in his first published adventures, Batman killed people, and had no problems whatsoever using a gun. While it is understandable, given both the time period, as well as that this was just the first incarnation of the character, it's still a far cry from the Batman known by most people today.
    • Case in point: " Doctor Death!"
    • He also displayed a fondness for puns and cracked jokes during fights, not unlike what Spider-man would do later. IE, "Have a seat", while smacking villains with a chair, or, while beating the Joker "You may be the JOKER, but I am the KING OF CLUBS!" or "You played your last hand!".
    • And, on more than one occasion, he referred to himself as "Poppa", in the third person, as in "Quiet, or Poppa spank!" or "Right into Poppas arms!".
    • At the end of Catwoman's first story, he deliberately lets her escape, and jokes with Robin that it was purely because he thought she was hot. This even though she was implied to cold-bloodedly kill a security guard in the story.
  • Charity Ball: Bruce Wayne, being a wealthy playboy, attends a lot of these.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Like you wouldn't believe. He seems to have miraculously avoided being shot in any way that could hurt him, recovered from having his back snapped in half with no ill effects (albeit with the help of a friend with healing powers), and constantly goes toe to toe with superhuman foes and triumphs, just because he's trained that hard. His various pupils, including all the Robins, show similar abilities.
    • Batman has moved away from this; he wins battles less because of training and more because of tactics. One could say that Batsy's power is Awesomeness by Analysis to an amazing degree; he makes sure he can analyze any weakness as quickly as possible. You never see him fight an amazingly powerful superhuman straight on. More often than not, he avoids gunfire by staying in the shadows where Mooks can't see, wearing the best bulletproof suit millionaire playboy money can buy, and/or disabling enemies before they have a chance to shoot.
      • Grant Morrison is largely responsible for switching Batman's primary ability from Charles Atlas Superpower to Crazy-Prepared. His Batman is still impossibly capable. Having tea with a monk, he reflexively swapped cups, assuming his was poisoned (it was). In the time it took the monk to blink.
    • In The Batman Adventures #6, it was a plot point that Bruce Wayne is capable of an unassisted ten-foot vertical jump. The world record is four.
  • Chest Insignia: Either it's just a Bat logo, or the Bat logo in a yellow circle. Depends on who's drawing it. This was lampshaded in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, where Batman admits that the famous bright yellow background is, obviously, a great big target. He then goes on to explain that he did it because he "can't armor my head".
    • Some of the Silver Age stories have the bat-emblem used as a diamond-edged cutting tool.
  • The Chessmaster: One of the most intelligent superheroes and an utterly brilliant tactician. If you don't have a superpower then improve your smarts instead.
  • Chosen Conception Partner: Talia Al-Ghul is very keen on having children with Bruce. She was partially successful with Damian, although that didn't turn out as she wanted.
  • Clear My Name: Occupational hazard of having dubious PR, plot of the major storyline Bruce Wayne: Murderer? and Bruce Wayne: Fugitive. Notable because the Batfamily members were the ones doing the clearing up, while Batman considered that "Bruce Wayne" had just become a burden to be abandoned, even saying that "Bruce Wayne doesn't exist".
    • In a bizarre reversal, Batman races against time to clear the Joker's name in The Joker: Devil's Advocate, as his insanity defense finally fails and he's sentenced to death, but for a murder he didn't actually commit.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: You don't even need to see his emblem - Bats is so infamous and feared that he can be identified just by the silhouette of his cowl.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He is the DC's poster boy for this trope.
    Huntress: Did I just see you cheating?
    Batman: Winning.
  • The Comically Serious: Especially in storylines featuring the JLA. Anything can be made funnier by adding Batman as the straight guy. A rare exception is found in the The Killing Joke, when The Joker tells him a joke that makes them both laugh. More typically: In "Hush", when Nightwing and Batman are in the Batmobile discussing Catwoman (well, Nightwing is discussing her... Batman is glaring off into the distance ignoring him):
    Nightwing: If you don't want to talk with someone, why do you even have a passenger seat in the Batmobile?
    Batman: Balance.
    Nightwing: ...was that a joke? [pause] Of course not.
  • Confirmed Bachelor: Poses as The Casanova in his Bruce Wayne persona. Privately, his reasons are closer to a combination of Married to the Job and It's Not You, It's My Enemies.
  • Cool Car, Cool Plane, Cool Boat, and Cool Garage:
    • The Batmobile in its various incarnations, has come to define this trope to the point where any character's cool car may be dubbed the (Character's Name)-mobile (real-world example: the famous "Popemobile"). Just to let you know, the Batmobile (nicknamed "The Tumbler") in Batman Begins is a Lamborghini Gallardo-Hummer H2 crossover. When Lt. Gordon gets a view of the Batmobile, he says:
      Lt. Gordon: I gotta get me one of those.
    • The Batplane, and sometimes Batcopter.
      • Batman's small one-man copter, The Whirly-Bat has its own legion of fans.
    • Various incarnations of the Batboat. Especially the ones that turn into a Batsub.
      • In the Captain Leatherwing Elseworld, Pirate Batman has the Flying Fox.
    • The Batcave. The animated series version not only contains the Batmobile, but a whole fleet of cars of various models when Batman needs a less conspicuous ride.
      • Taking it even further: in the Hush story arc, the Batcave has revolving racks featuring every Batmobile ever seen.
      • And this one, kinda.
      • Bizarrely, the Batcave came with it's own resident genius, Harold, that nobody remembered until Hush got ahold of him.
  • Covered with Scars: Since the 1970s, his body is often shown to be covered in scars from his multiple fights.
  • The Cowl: He was practically built this trope, or at least the way it is seen now, but is not the Ur-Example, and is not exactly the Trope Maker. The description describes the quintessential Batman Cold Open, emerging from the shadows and inducing fear in all the criminals his eyes meet. Most examples of the trope nowadays are at least partially influenced by the Dark Knight.
  • Crazy-Prepared: A good thing for the most part.
    • He apparently spends most of his time devising contingency plans to use in the event that he has to fight a given individual, to the point that it's widely said that Batman can beat anyone or anything "if he's prepared". For example, he carries a chunk of Kryptonite on his utility belt at all times, "just in case". He also prepares himself to an almost unhealthy extent, regularly injecting himself with antitoxins in the off chance a poison wielding villain might attack him, and training most of his day. There are some thing you just can't ever see coming, like zombie Abraham Lincoln armed with an assault rifle. Such are his preparation skills that he's earned a place amongst the Trope Pantheons, specifically, in the House of Mentalism.
    • Batman has attempted to be prepared in case of the inevitable superhero Face-Heel Turn, most notably in two infamous incidents. In the "Tower of Babel" arc of the Justice League comic, it was mainly confined to the League. The second was shortly after Identity Crisis where Batman decided to secretly tab every superhero/metahuman on Earth he could, so he built the Brother Eye program to monitor them. Both blew up in his face horribly (Ra's found and used the files and Brother Eye was hijacked by Max Lord and, later, Alexander Luthor).
    • In an issue of Gotham Adventures, a criminal "artist" named Kim escapes from Arkham and begins leaving clues at crime scenes in a manner reminiscent of the Riddler. Riddler is furious that someone is stealing his gimmick and tracks Kim down himself. As they fight, Riddler asks what all the "clues" were supposed to mean. Kim reveals that they were actually references to an art film by a foreign director, and he was merely making an artistic statement. Riddler rants about how that is completely pointless, as nobody will ever understand such a reference, and the point of leaving clues is to give your opponent a fighting chance. Whereupon Batman shows up and reveals that he understood the clues just fine. When asked why he would watch random films and memorize the biographical information of their directors, Batman replied "In case I had to."
    • In one issue of JLA, the Martian Manhunter has shifted into a Japanese woman using the name Hino Rei. Batman recognises J'onn instantly, and mentions that "the name is a giveaway". Yes, Batman knows enough about Sailor Moon to spot the name of Sailor Mars. Amusingly, this is because the author got pranked; he asked a friend for a Japanese woman's name that would translate out to 'Poet of Mars', thus establishing Batman's linguistics genius; instead his friend deliberately gave him the secret ID of Sailor Mars, and so the author inadvertently established Batman's otaku cred.
    • Batman's crazy preparation is shown to an extreme in the Batman: RIP storyline, in which we find that in case of psychological attack, he has created a backup personality known as "The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh". Said personality might actually be crazy, making this a literal example. This is not, however, not the first time he's done something like this. In a Gotham Knights story, Bruce uses a contingency plan that involves hypnotizing himself to essentially strip the Batman part of his identity and leave only the Bruce Wayne part, in case someone found out and he needed to take extra measures to convince them (and others) otherwise.
    • Rather infamously in JLA 59 Batman engineered the defeat of Polaris to end with the JLA victorious, Superman's healing accelerated by the hole in the ozone layer and himself standing on a teleportation disk he had hidden in the arctic for just such an occasion. Appropriately he ends the comic with the words "always plan ahead".
    • In an issue of Superman/Batman, it is revealed that Batman carries around a lead-lined mirror just in case Superman ever turns evil and Batman can't avoid his heat vision. Because, you know, that situation comes up so often. (although, considering the rate at which it happens in Superman/Batman, it may actually come up quite a lot...)
    • During the Hush arc of Batman, it is revealed that if he is ever knocked unconscious, his helmet will release tear gas on anyone brave enough to reach for his mask, as well as his suit tasering anyone stupid enough to touch him. The taser shows up in The Dark Knight.
    • Lampshaded by Jaime Reyes, the Blue Beetle, in one of his teamups with Batman. An enemy has just ambushed them by essentially spawning an arctic blizzard ramped Up to Eleven above them, causing them to get buried in a few meters of snow. After Beetle breaks out and stops the blizzard by scaring off their attacker...
      Blue Beetle: Batman! Hold on! I'll find you and get you out! Can you break out the Bat-Snowblower or something?
      (minor explosion)
      (Batman digs his way out of the hole caused by the explosion)
      Blue Beetle: (in awe) Please don't tell me you actually have a Bat-Snowblower...
      Batman: Heating flare capable of melting through ice in a hurry. You'd be surprised what you pack after going up against Mr. Freeze enough times.
    • Further demonstrated in an issue of Superman/Batman where the world is under the control of Gorilla Grodd except for Batman. Batman's arm is robotic and Superman is gone in space because the atmosphere has Kryptonite in it. By the end of some long convoluted that proves enough how Crazy-Prepared Batman is, it turns out that it was just a simulation of that potential scenario just in case and Batman reveals to Alfred that he does these all the time.
    • There was an Elseworlds comic called JSA: The Liberty Files which had an alternate reality version of Batman, Hour Man, and Mid-Nite on a train in their civilian identities. They were simply eating dinner when they were suddenly attacked by a villain. Batman, as Bruce Wayne, opens his jacket and throws two grenades. One of the heroes remarks, "You brought grenades to dinner?" to which Bruce replied, "I needed them, didn't I?".
    • In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Batman is well prepared for Superman coming to pay him a visit. He has The Flash place small charges all over Supes, then the Atom shrinks down and messes with Supe's inner ear, brings part of the Batcave roof down on him, after which Green Arrow shoots him with a Kryptonite arrow, all before Batman then hands his ass to him with Green K gloves. And then for the Crowning Moment of Awesome, Superman tells the Bat he only came to talk, to which Batman replies, 'We're done talking. Get out of my cave.'
    • In one issue of Gotham Adventures, Harley Quinn writes a trashy romance novel that controls the mind of whoever reads it. Tim and Barbara were controlled while Bruce wasn't. Why? He wore leather gloves while reading it.
    • Batman Does Not Like Guns, but he still takes his proteges to the firing range. When asked why, Batman explained that it's useful to know as much about guns as possible even if he doesn't use them.
    • In one Brave and the Bold comic, Batman reveals that he keeps a one-way one-shot handheld teleporter preset to the vicinity of a black hole in his utility belt. Just in case.
    • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman reveals he has a second Batcave built under the Asylum. When asked why by an incredulous Oracle, he replies "It's me, remember?."
  • Creepy Good: Some interpretations of Batman's membership in the Justice League are portrayed this way. Everyone has their seat at the table, and Batman's off in a corner being quiet (if you notice him at all). This crosses pretty well with his status as Crazy-Prepared. The rest of the League is creeped out that this guys has files on how to kill/maim/disable the rest of them. That, and being creepy is Batman's schtick.
    • In some shorts, this overlaps with Determinator in how he takes up cold cases of unidentified murder victims, even if the only thing he can do is give their families closure.
    • There's also The Question, who even Batman thinks is a little unhinged.
  • Darker and Edgier: Following the Silver Age, Batman became (and still is) one of the grittiest heroes you could find with an emphasis on fear and a brutal fighting style, most of what he does stemming from what he views as his failures and an insanely violent Rogues Gallery. Despite this, his strong moral integrity remains one of the most consistent in comics.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He is often one of the best barometers of what the writer wants you to think is morally acceptable in all of comicdom, despite his black clothing, bat-motif, and fear-based methods.
  • Dating Catwoman: With the obvious, but also with Jezebel Jet, Lady Shiva (well, maybe that was more UST), Talia Al Ghul and a few others. He's well aware of his penchant for this trope and it's actually an important plot point in R.I.P.
    • The Earth-2 versions of the characters actually married and had a kid, the original Huntress. Why bother stealing when you're married to a multimillionaire? The main versions became a couple too, and Bruce even revealed his identity to her and she moved into the mansion with him. The relationship didn't last, but they both developed a respect for each other and Batman mostly looks the other way when Catwoman does her thing.
    • However, things got a bit more interesting with the two. Continuing to dance around one another constantly to the point of a nearly functional relationship, then to a distant one due to fear of repercussions from their knowledge of one another's identity, the couple have certainly reheated things a bit since Bruce's return to the present... long story. Regardless, she has even accompanied him on his international travels to establish Batman Inc. Maybe not a perfect relationship, but hey.
      • Unfortunately for those who may have enjoyed it, all that Character Development in their relationship has been set back to square one with the 2011 DC Universe reboot, in which Catwoman has no idea who Batman is behind the mask (although she suspects he knows who she is). Doesn't stop her from having costumed sex with him though.
      • In Gotham City Sirens, it was mentioned that Catwoman and Talia are probably the only two women Batman has truly loved. It's not surprising that both of them are villainesses.
    • Very explicit in one standalone strip called "Date Night", Batman catches Catwoman in the middle of a robbery and chases her through various romantic locations including a flower stall and a fancy restaurant, all the while Catwoman is talking and flirting with him as if they were actually on a date. When he finally catches her, they briefly fight and she leaves him tied up and dangling upside down from a fire escape, kisses him goodnight and runs away.
    • In Batman the Dark Knight after the 2011 reboot, Bruce is attracted to Jaina Hudson, but becomes suspicious of her after new villainess White Rabbit issues the same "Catch me if you can" flirtatious challenge Jaina made in their first meeting. His suspicions are debunked when the White Rabbit shows up on the radar while he is on a date with Jaina. It turns out he was right after all, since Jaina has the power to split herself into two people — her normal self and the White Rabbit.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes. For example, from his DCAU iteration:
    Batman: [to Wonder Woman, regarding their (potential) relationship] One: dating within the team always leads to disaster. Two: you're a princess from a society of immortal warriors; I'm a rich kid with issues... lots of issues.
    • Whenever Batman (in any incarnation) isn't either moping around in Wangst or being The Comically Serious, he's generally the one with a deadpan line. Or, as Jaime Reyes (Blue Beetle III) put it, "Batman's actually kind of funny, in a dry, scary way." Typically, Batman needs Superman as a foil if he's going to be funny.
  • Death Glare: Quite famous for using these, despite being a Technical Pacifist.
    • A good example was during the "Contagion" arc. Other members of the Bat-family are trying to disperse an angry mob, to no effect. Cue Batman appearing, pointing a finger, giving a Death Glare to the entire mob, and stating: "Disperse. NOW." It worked.
  • Death Is Cheap: Bruce's set to return in The Return of Bruce Wayne and it was revealed in the tie-ins to Blackest Night that the corpse Superman found and was buried was an Ax-Crazy Darkseid-created clone.
  • Depending on the Writer: Having a seventy-year history will result in massive amounts of this.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Post Golden Age. Missiles, lasers, and other things, particularly weapons systems mounted on his vehicles, seem to be fair game, as long as they don't resemble pistols. He'll also pick up a gun under extremely dire circumstances, such as shooting Darkseid in order to save the universe. The reasons vary from writer to writer. Originally, the idea that Batman hates guns was linked to his parents' murder when he was a child. There are practical and legal reasons, too—self-awareness that he's a vigilante and the knowledge that in being so he has no business killing, while guns make it much too easy to kill and much too hard to be nonlethal. In his original Detective Comic appearances, he frequently used firearms and lethal force against villains. The creators only removed his use of firearms when they worried that it would make him resemble the Shadow too closely. Today, most depictions have Batman bending enough to arm his vehicles, for disabling vehicles and removing obstacles. It's amazing how strict some Batman adaptations are about this, even when you'd think they'd ditch it. In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman hospitalizes countless mooks, snaps the Joker's spine (paralyzing but not killing him), and has machine guns on his car. When he uses the guns, he internal monologues to the reader, "Rubber Bullets. Honest."
    • Technically the military contracts thing isn't true, as we've seen various examples of military-grade hardware produced by WayneTech, from night vision goggles to attack helicopters. Presumably Bruce is fine with it as long as his company isn't manufacturing any weapon systems (those can be sourced from other contractors).
    • After Dick became a Bludhaven police officer, Bruce made it clear that he didn't like him wearing his service revolver around the cave.
    • Final Crisis takes this to a symbolical level as Batman makes an "once in a lifetime" exception and shoots "poisons" Darkseid with an anti-New God gun only to be "killed" by the villain's eye beams a mere second after pulling the trigger.
    • In another Batman story by Grant Morrison, Joe Chill in Hell, a young Batman confronts his parents' killer, Joe Chill, and torments the man, depriving him of sleep, sneaking up on him in disguise, and generally just scaring the crap out of him for a month, all building up to the point where Batman drives Chill to commit suicide.
    • In a particularly amusing inversion, in an early Detective Comics appearance Bats comments that he hates taking human life - immediately before machine-gunning a car full of baddies from his biplane. This blog has a good rundown on instances where he used a gun. In fact, in The Golden Age of Comic Books, he didn't even have the "dislikes guns" angle, and had a handgun that he wasn't afraid to use.
    • While Batman's aversion to guns has generally grown over time, there are some situations in the older comics where Batman refuses to use a gun. In Detective 453 (the same series in which Batman fires a machine gun into a car full of bad guys), Batman is told to shoot a single bullet into the ground to prove he isn't really Batman, or be shot to death by a room full of criminals. He doesn't do it. This is probably due more to the inconsistency of older comics and a lazy writer, but it's probably the most extreme example of this rule.
    • In The Dark Knight, Batman's distaste for guns gets lampshaded in Grant Morrison's JLA/WildCATS crossover, in which the League hooks up with the premiere heroes of Jim Lee's WildStorm line. At one point when both teams go up against Epoch the Time Lord, Batman asks the raygun-toting Grifter just how good he is. When Grifter brags that in his universe Batman would have been his kid sidekick, Batman then adds, "Then you won't mind doing this without the guns." Grifter pauses for a Beat, then quips, "Aw, why not? I'll try anything once!" The beginning of the crossover features an encounter with Epoch and Wally West while he was still Kid Flash, who sizes up his new foe's huge high-tech rifle by commenting, "One of the first things I've learned in the superhero game. 'Gun' equals 'bad guy'."
    • Batman The Brave And The Bold used this as a plot point in the final episode. Bat-Mite is trying to get the series cancelled and Ambush Bug attempts to stop him, but Batman refuses to listen when Bug tells him that the world has been changed. That is, until Batman uses a pair of handguns to fight crime, which Bug points out is an insanely Out-of-Character Moment; at this point Batman finally realizes that Bug is right and starts fighting back against Bat-Mite.
  • Double Consciousness
  • The Dreaded: One of the most feared heroes in the entire DC Universe. Even those who don't fear Superman, have fear of Batman.
    • To the point that a Sinestro Corps ring tried to recruit him. For those of you who don't know, the Sinestro Corps is the opposite of the Green Lantern Corps, and their yellow rings are powered by inspiring fear. Corps members are chosen on a planet-to-planet basis, meaning Batman is THE SCARIEST THING ON EARTH.
  • Elseworlds: Batman has had quite a few Elseworld stories about him, but the one that was most memorable (and actually influenced the mainstream Batman and the comics medium in general) was Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. That aside, he may be the single most popular subject of Elseworlds tales.
  • Emerging from the Shadows
  • Escape Artist: Go find a collection of Batman comics and count the number of times he's successfully escaped a trap. We'll wait.
  • Expy: He started out as this to Zorro and pulp heroes as The Shadow and Sherlock Holmes. Fortunately, he evolved into his own unique character.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: In Final Crisis, Darkseid blasted Batman with the Omega Sanction and puts Bruce in a loop of horrible lives.
  • The Fettered: He'll use any means necessary to take crime down, but he will never drift from his moral code willingly. Many of his enemies call him out for it.
  • Fiction 500
  • Flanderization: Bruce Wayne was originally depicted as merely Comfortably Well-Off. Now, he's one of the two richest men in The DCU. Batman himself has become increasingly ultra-competent and infallible in the past few decades. The flanderization of Batman was necessary to keep him interesting in the context of the Justice League. He's one of the few characters without a true super power, so the question of why they keep him around (aside from maybe his money) needs answering. Having him be the greatest strategist in existence gives him a purpose and a reason for being one of the guys in charge.
    • He's also portrayed as the "brooding loner" of the Justice League. This is despite the fact that the "Bat-family" has more members than Superman's friends and allies, two of the five Robins have led the Teen Titans, one of those two also led Young Justice, the other is considered the most trustworthy man in the hero community, and Oracle acts as the Mission Control. He is a close friend of a lot of superheroes as well, and he managed to be something of a father to Cassandra Cain.
  • Friend to All Children: Kids don't fear Batman. Batman hurts the bad guys, not kids. Every child knows this. Batman makes DAMN sure to never betray children's faith in him. In fact, if a criminal is about to hurt a child and the child says that Batman's gonna kick his butt... well, the criminal's tempting fate if he proceeds, cause Batman WILL show up and destroy him.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Inverted. Bruce Wayne doesn't drink, afraid that it'll ruin his edge; however, a socialite like himself must on occasion be seen drinking, to erase any suspicion of being Batman. Thus, he will often drink non-alcoholic beverages, usually ginger ale, prepared to look to others as though they are made with alcohol. He'll even go so far as to act drunk, usually as an excuse for slipping out to chase after criminals.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's one of the most intelligent heroes in all of comics and has a figure that can pass for Superman in a dim light, is one of the world's greatest martial artists and stealth fighters, and only seems lacking in a world filled with superpowered heroes and villains... all of whom he can figure out how to defeat.
  • Good Is Not Nice/Good Is Not Soft
  • Grandfather Clause: Probably one of the only characters to not get laughed at for placing "Bat" in front of his equipment. Though in more recent years he has done this a lot less. He refers to the Batmobile and Batcave as "The car" and "The cave", and it's his sidekicks who employ the funny names. He does still call his favored weapons "Batarangs", though.
  • Grappling-Hook Gun: Batman also inspired Nighthawk from the Squadron Supreme in its many incarnations. Particularly in the "Supreme" series, in his own mini he uses it to blast through his analogue of the Joker, Whiteface, to create an anchor as he jumps after a baby he threw off. Then proceeds to kill him (Whiteface, not the baby!) by ripping out his guts with it. In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman opts for a grappling-hook rifle. Of course, that was made before Batman's grappling gun was standard fare.
  • Guile Hero: He's one of the sharpest heroes in DC universe of them all. If you lack superpowers than make them up with wits and smarts. There's a reason why he's called the "World's Greatest Detective". Especially in group settings where his companions and adversaries have superpowers that render his gadgets and martial arts prowess less relevant. He's not called the World's Greatest Detective for nothing, and his habit of spinning victory from available resources have spawned the popular belief that he can take down any opponent with nothing more than "ample time to prepare."
  • Guy Liner: Every film incarnation since Michael Keaton invokes the Irisless Eye Mask Of Mystery by donning dark eye shadow, which extends the black mask.
  • He's Back: After his adventures to get back to the present, Batman is back in the saddle and ready to give Dr. Hurt the beat-down of his life.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Superman. And in the New 52, with Dick Grayson.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: One of Batman's favorite methods for questioning mooks.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: His Bruce persona is generally portrayed this way.
  • Hope Bringer: Even in the darkest and most cynical stories and adaptations, Batman is always portrayed as a symbol of hope to the people of Gotham.
  • Horrifying Hero: "I'm telling ya, man!! A GIANT BAT!!"
  • Hunk
  • Hurting Hero
  • Identity Impersonator: He's probably done it as much as Superman!
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Has been forced to give up many a love interest because of this.
  • I Work Alone: Suuuure you do.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Among the members of the Bat-Family, Bruce is this in terms of overall ability (at least when writers aren't going full-on 'Bat-God' mode). He isn't the natural acrobat or leader Dick Grayson is, he doesn't have the level of computer and intel-gathering skills Oracle has, he lacks Cassandra Cain's incredible martial arts ability, and admitted to himself that Tim Drake would eventually surpass him as the World's Greatest Detective. But the fact that he is still very good and experienced in all such fields allow him to more then pull his own weight whatever the circumstance. Fairly reasonable, considering the implications that would result in him actually being the best at everything.
  • Jerkass: Four words - I'm the Goddamn Batman!
  • Knight in Sour Armor: In general, Bruce is almost always a Knight in Sour Armor (or in this case a Dark Knight in Sour Armor, with the only possible exceptions being when he makes some wry observation about a situation he or the JLA are in.
  • Knockout Gas: One of his standard tricks, Batman has used knockout gas from various sources: bombs, canisters, guns, etc.
  • The Lancer: Not in his own series. To Superman in the Justice League, but as the biggest and most recognizable superhero after Superman, he's effectively this for the entire industry.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice
  • Latex Perfection: He's ripped off masks to reveal his entire costume underneath, ears and all.
  • Lethal Chef: He even screws up tuna sandwiches.
  • Man Child: A rather subtle version, believe it or not. Never mind the fact that dressing up as a giant bat and swearing to exterminate crime seems like a rather childish thing to do, Bruce's emotional development was stunted the moment his parents died. Add to the fact that he seems to relate to young people (re: the Robins and Batgirls) better then he does adults and many stories also make note of the fact that while all criminals fear Batman, children do not.
    • This was Lampshaded in a Marvel/DC crossover with The Punisher, where the Joker mused that Batman must have had a similar tragedy to that of Frank Castle, but Batman's tragedy must have happened when he was a child — dressing up in a costume, and nifty gadgets are more a child's ideas than Castle's skull motifs and machine guns.
    • Made more apparent in Flashpoint. The Batman of that universe is essentially the same tragedy, but with Bruce dying instead of his parents.
  • McNinja: One of the best examples in America. He even trained in Japan.
  • The Merch: Batman is a consistent merchandising juggernaut, with two of the most recent cartoons (The Batman and Batman The Brave And The Bold) produced for the express purpose of selling toys.
  • Misery Builds Character: Batman envelopes the very heart of this trope.
  • Morality Chain: Jim Gordon has pulled him back from the brink of Knight Templardom more than once, including shooting him to keep him from killing the Joker.
  • Morality Pet: Bruce admits that Dick Grayson is one for him.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Bruce is very attractive and appealing to the opposite sex.
  • My Greatest Failure: Several, because he believes that every failure he encounters is his fault. The top five are (in chronological order): The "creation" of The Joker; Harvey Dent's transformation into Two-Face; Jason Todd's death; losing control of Gotham's gangs during War Games, which led to the torture of Stephanie Brown and her near-death; and allowing his suspicions of his fellow supers to overcome him and building Brother Eye, which then hi-jacked by Max Lord and led to the death of Ted Kord. And, more recently, Damian's death.
  • Nay-Theist: Depending on who is writing him, Batman is either this or an atheist. According to the Comic Book Religion database, he is a lapsed Catholic.
  • Never My Fault: Will almost never admit to being wrong in an argument. It's partly why so many people have difficulty establishing any kind of relationship with him.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: Ever wonder why Azrael (AKA Batman II/AzBats) was brought in? It was due to Bats demonstrating way too much of this trope in the eighties (The Killing Joke is a prime example).
  • No Badass to His Valet: Alfred is immune to Batman's fear-striking methods. In a black and white short story titled "Sunrise", an old woman finds him injured and is not amused when he attempts to brush it off.
    Woman: You don't look fine to me. What on earth happened?
    Batman: Look, lady—
    Woman: Don't "look, lady" me! You're acting like a five year old.
  • No Sense of Humor: Batman is sometimes depicted as this, Depending on the Writer.
  • Not So Different: Most of his iconic foes are escaped lunatics, but he is far from the picture of perfect mental health and knows it.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: His guise as Bruce Wayne demands it.
    • Depending on the Writer, Bruce Wayne is still a well-respected philanthropist and (occasionally) scientist. It's just he's also an international playboy.
  • Offhand Backhand
  • Offscreen Teleportation
  • One Super One Powerset: Batman is the head of Wayne Enterprises, has fought against and alongside many superpowered beings that possess advanced technology, use magic, and have reliable and effective mutagens. Despite this, he has been, and most likely always will be, only a mere Badass Normal Crazy-Prepared genius detective.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: He watched his parents die as a kid...
  • Overprotective Dad: According to fandom, he's this.
    • Canon when Batgirl III was dating Superboy.
  • Papa Wolf: Don't hurt his sidekicks.
    • Friend to All Children: Don't hurt kids, period.
    • Hurt his actual, biological son? He'll water board you. With acid.
  • Pacifism Backfire: This is one of his biggest problems. His Thou Shall Not Kill attitude and stubborn refusal to kill major criminals, especially the Joker, end up indirectly causing more casualties and/or injuries in the long run. Exactly how big said problem is depends on the writer, though.
  • The Paragon: Depending on the continuity.
  • The Paranoiac: Batman is frequently accused of being a paranoiac; how much this is true is a case of Depending on the Writer, but he certainly demonstrated many paranoid traits, including a grim attitude, Control Freak tendencies, and a habit of resorting to violence to solve his problems, with some stories going so far as to imply that being the Batman is simply an excuse for Bruce to take revenge for the murder of his parents by beating the crap out of criminals every night. He also has a grim and bleak view of the society he lives in- mostly because that society is Gotham City, and his explicit reason for choosing a Bat as his gimmick is to scare the hell out of his enemies. However, most stories portray him as fundamentally an idealist, who actually does trust his allies (just brutally aware that he lives in a world where Mind Control, Demonic Possession and exposed secret identities are all very real dangers) and who is actually an extremely humble man who has decided to sacrifice his life to the cause of saving others from the evil that took his family away from him.
    • Indeed, the staff at Arkham Asylum (which is a place where either Batman fits in seamlessly, or is the absolute worse place he should be, depending on the writer) seem to have some understanding of Batman's issues and follow either written or well-known-but-unwritten-rules about how to deal with him when he shows up. And he shows up pretty damn often, either because he needs to talk to one of the patients or because he's responding to an incident. Some of these rules seem to be: 1) Only one person should speak to him, either the most senior staff member present or whomever he came to see. 2) Do not attempt to start a conversation with him or try to engage in small talk. 3) Keep your distance. More than an arm's length is absolutely essential. Batman has very defined boundaries that he does not like anyone invading. 4) Stay in front of him. He keeps his back to a wall at all times. When walking, he does not allow anyone to walk behind him. 5) If he tells you to do something, no matter what it is, do it immediately. This is particularly true if he tells you to leave the area or leave him alone with someone. 6) Batman has extensive knowledge of medical procedures, psychiatric principles, and pharmacology. Things do not need to be expressed or explained in layman's terms. 7) If you are under duress from one of the patients, he'll know immediately. 8) Batman is regarded as staff, and personal and confidential information about the patients can be discussed with him.
  • Parental Abandonment: HIS PARENTS ARE DEEAAAAAAAD!!!
  • Parental Substitute: You may be discerning a theme here. Bruce is this to primarily all of the Robins and Batgirls. Bruce is a substitute father to all of the Robins and has adopted them all: Dick, Tim and Jason with the exception of Damian, because Damian is Bruce's biological son. He has also been a substitute parent/father to all of the Batgirls including Stephanie Brown, Helena Bertinelli and Cassandra Cain, whom he has adopted.
    • Also, Alfred and Leslie Thompkins are both parental substitutes for him. In his biggest moments of honesty, Bruce has explicitly said that Alfred and Leslie, more than anyone, are the ones who've kept him from going over the edge.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: In some continuities where his cape has some gadgets built in.
  • Power Copying: Batman tends to keep items from his defeated villains handy, such as a vial of Scarecrow's fear gas, and one of Mr. Freeze's guns.
  • Power Of Hate: In some of his incarnations, the hate for the villain that killed his parents drives him to be the Batman. (Other incarnations are more about justice, or protecting people.)

    You could also say that he feels nothing but hate for the Joker. And after all the Joker put him through, you can't really blame him.

    Batman hates hates HATES the murder (and violent crime in general) and injustice of the world itself and is therefore driven to don the cowl to exterminate these things or end up showing the world he died trying.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Batarangs have got to be related to Captain America's shield.
  • The Proud Elite: Bruce is handsome, and, while charming, tries to be aloof enough that he makes people think he's a bit arrogant. However, when he catches criminals as Batman, he'll get them jobs at Wayne Enterprises.
  • Really Gets Around: As Bruce Wayne this is to be expected, but Vicky Vale is the most well known. As Batman: Catwoman and Talia to name a few.
  • Reckless Pacifist: On and off. Excluding incarnations that actually did kill people (or just refused to save them), The Bat has been known to get really, really rough with with his enemies despite his Thou Shalt Not Kill policy.
  • Red Baron: The Batman has been known by the following nicknames: The Caped Crusader, the Masked Manhunther, the Darknight Detective which would evolve into his most distinctive title - the Dark Knight.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Hates violence, but is prepared to use it to stop crime. Subverted by every interpretation since the dawn of the Dark Age, so Batman's mileage may definitely vary.
  • The Reveal Prompts Romance: Batman has unmasked himself as Bruce Wayne to various women in various continuities. Neither the reveal nor the romance has stuck, yet.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Bruce Wayne is the poster boy.
  • Roofhopping: One of his many specialties.
  • Rogues Gallery: One of the most recognizable in all of comics.
  • Science Hero: Not quite as emphasized as the other flavors of hero he fills, but with his skill in scientific analysis and his seemingly unlimited gadgets, he more than qualifies.
  • Secret Identity Identity
  • Series Mascot: Of DC Comics, alongside Superman.
  • Shadow Archetype: Of Superman. Most of his rogues are ones of himself.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: It should be obvious. Seeing your parents shot can give you psychological scars but believing that dressing up as a bat and act all vengeance and justice will honor their memories sure is a given proof that you need help.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Batman keeps Jason Todd's costume on display in the Batcave.
  • Signature Team Transport: Batman has plenty of Bat-vehicles, but the Batmobile is the most iconic.
  • Small Steps Hero: He spends a vast, billion-dollar fortune to punch out one criminal at a time.
  • The Smart Guy: When he's with the Justice League. Not so much on his home turf, where everyone he hangs out with is also a genius.
    • Though Fridge Logic sets in when Superman is supposed to be super-intelligent. Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern have a lot more experience with aliens, Wonder Woman's been on earth the longest, The Flash is a scientist and Aquaman has a comprehensive knowledge of everything water-related. Probably he's the only one who'll 1) look into actual criminology and 2) remember to think things through.
    • Superman is not currently super-intelligent in canon (he was during the Silver Age canon); Wonder Woman may have been on Earth the longest but was mostly on Paradise Island and until the present times has little experience with people other than Greek mythology and Amazons; and The Flash is a forensic scientist (not skilled in all forms of science like Batman). Batman knows a lot about many topics, including crimonology, and not only thinks through but in cynical situations is highly intelligent and sometimes even Dangerously Genre Savvy. Hence, he is still The Smart Guy to the Justice League.
  • Socially-Awkward Hero: Social skills isn't one of his strong points. He doesn't seem to know how to behave like a Rich Idiot with No Day Job as Bruce Wayne.
  • Spirited Competitor
  • Stealth Expert
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Possibly the Trope Codifier.
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: Often invoked by Batman with his use of shadows and smoke pellets to scare criminals. It disorients his enemies and make them easier to pick off one by one. In The Dark Knight Rises Bane was a member of the League Of Shadows and knows of their tricks of using darkness to distract enemies in battle, so when Batman tries to use these same tactics on Bane, he mocks him for it and goes into a Badass Boast about how he is made of Shadows.
  • The Stoic: Added to his The Comically Serious, usually, though he does have bouts of anger or other emotions.
  • The Strategist: He has no peer as a combat strategist and plan-maker in The DCU. Quite simply, if Batman cooks up a plan, it's probably the BEST plan.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality
  • Superhero Sobriquets: The Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the World's Greatest Detective, the Dark Knight Detective.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes
  • Superheroes Wear Tights
  • Super Reflexes: Acquired through training.
  • Survivor Guilt: Bruce/Batman's ENTIRE LIFE revolves around the guilt he felt at his parents' murder.
  • The Team Normal: In superhero ensembles.
  • Technical Pacifist
  • Terror Hero: Batman seeks to put enormous fear into anyone he goes up against. Given that he's one of the most dreaded heroes in comics, even among superpowered villains despite having no superpowers himself, he is very good at it. There are criminals who have no fear of guys like Superman that are scared shitless of Batman.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Nearly every version has this, an exception being the Burton movies. What Measure Is a Non-Human? is in full effect.
    • Other exceptions include anyone who is truly immortal, such as Solomon Grundy or Clayface. Lethal force is necessary against them, but they can come back from even the worst of blows. And when Batman does have to exchange blows with Darkseid, you can damn well bet that Batman is doing is absolute best to hurt the bastard.
  • True Love Is Boring: One of the major reasons why Bruce will probably never settle down.
  • Two First Names
  • Uncle Pennybags: At his friendliest, Bruce has had quite a few moments of this.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Done constantly by superpowered villains who have never faced him before. After they do fight him, they figure out why he's one of the most feared heroes of them all.
  • Underwear of Power: Just like Superman. Batman is one of the older examples, though nowadays (Post-Knight Saga and then Post-Return) his Underwear on the outside is usually either absent, not shown, or the same color as the rest of him (and thus hard to see).
  • Unstoppable Rage: He might not show much emotion, but his attack on the Joker in Hush is one of the few times that he does. And it's not pretty to look at (the art itself was gorgeous, though).
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A rare heroic example. Had his parents not been killed by a mugger in the alley, he would still be the same vigilante, minus the Good Is Not Nice personality.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Batman and Superman are sometimes depicted this way, as both Type 1 and Type 2 - while they respect each other and acknowledge there is a need for both of them, they would rather have as little to do with each other as possible.
  • Warrior Therapist
  • Weapon of Choice: Batarangs are his signature weapons.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He does say it. It's just that he only says it when you've been perfect.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: With Damien's death, his progressive Sanity Slippage and the fact that he Took a Level in Jerkass have led to this from each member of the family in "Batman and Robin" volume 2, starting with issue 19.
    • Batman experiments on Frankenstein's Monster in Victor Frankenstein's own castle to see what makes him tick so that he can learn a secret to resurrection. Tim is horrified, and Frankenstein also calls him out in a somewhat more calm fashion.
    • Batman brings Jason to the place where he first died in the hopes of jogging Jason's memory to remember how he was brought back to life. Needless to say, he's none too pleased with Bruce's idea.
    • Barbara gets so fed up that she decides that if he needs a Robin, she'll take up the role as a Replacement Goldfish, just to shut him up.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: From his family fortune. An analysis on the history of said wonderful toys can be found here.
  • World's Best Warrior: Doesn't matter who or what he's up against, Batman can win or will be instrumental in victory. No one is safe from Batman. No one.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Well, not first but if she's coming at him with the intent to fight or kill him, she's fair game.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: A good way to make him pissed off for real is to hurt or threaten children in front of him.

    Alfred Pennyworth 
"Teacher, mentor, partner, but never a father... of course, Master Bruce, of course."

Probably the most famous butler in existence (even though he's often closer to being a valet), in current continuity Alfred and his ancestors have served the Waynes for generations; when Thomas & Martha Wayne were shot, he was the one who raised Bruce. (In the Golden and Silver Ages, Alfred joined the Wayne household shortly after Bruce had started his Batman career.) It seemed natural, then, that Bruce trusted him the most. From the start, Alfred knew that Bruce was Batman - in fact, he has often assisted his master with his latest experiments/inventions, even though he sometimes wishes that his master will settle down and live a normal life.

During several critical junctures in Batman's career, Alfred was the key factor in his survival. A master surgeon, Alfred was almost always the one to patch him back up after particularly gruesome battles, since Batman couldn't very well simply go to the hospital. Alfred can be said to be the closest thing to a father figure that Bruce has - his advice is the often the only one that Bruce gives a second thought about. Or, as Michael Caine has said, he's more of the replacement mother figure in contrast with Gordon's replacement father.

  • Almighty Mom: Alfred is the quintessential male example.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Alfred had a great desire to be a detective in the early years after he was added to the cast. He studied detective work via correspondence course, and once even took a month's vacation so he could go to a nearby town and be a detective.
  • Badass
  • Badass Grandpa
  • Badass Normal
  • Battle Butler: Perhaps the ur-example.
    • Just for Pun, most incarnations of him are (semi)retired military, making him Batman's Batman.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Alfred is undoubtedly one of the sweetest, kindhearted elderly gentlemen you will ever meet... but unlike the rest of the Batfamily, he will bust a cap in your ass if he deems it necessary.
  • Breakout Character: Alfred was originally intended to be a comedic foil to Batman and Robin, but eventually got more serious. The Post-Crisis version had him as an out and out Battle Butler, and surrogate father figure to the entire Bat-Clan.
  • Characterization Marches On: Alfred started out as a goofy, clean-shaven, overweight butler.
    • This is a minor case of Ret Canon. In the 1943 Batman film serial Alfred was played by William Austin, who was tall and thin, and had the moustache. To match this, comic book Alfred promptly went off to a health resort to lose weight and grew a moustache.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When he has to fight, he either prefers to strike from behind or to be the only member of the household who's perfectly willing to bring a gun to a fistfight. One issue of Nightwing had him save Nightwing from a hulking metahuman via both, by shooting the villain in the back with rubber bullets... which he only used instead of the normal kind because Robin pestered him to.
  • Cool Old Guy: For just one example, the guy listens to The Prodigy. It's canon!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Constantly makes ironic (but highly polite and proper) comments on Master Bruce's lifestyle.
    Batman: Jim will pull through!
    Alfred: Or what, master Bruce? You'll dress up like a giant bat and haunt the night for the rest of your life?
  • Dramatic Drop: When he sees that Stephanie Brown is still alive, he drops a tea tray. Steph comments that it's good to see him lose his cool demeanor.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Subverted; the pencil mustache that he's normally portrayed with is usually associated with villains.
  • Go-to Alias: Alfred tends to use "Thaddeus Crane" (his middle names) whenever he has to go undercover.
  • Honest Advisor: Alfred, who knows Bruce Wayne better than anyone, isn't afraid to tell him when he's taking himself too seriously or when he's doing something that probably won't end well. He's also the person Bruce most respects, and probably the only person he trusts completely.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Batman's other sidekick. Seriously, Alfred is in charge of: cooking, cleaning, creating convenient excuses for the Bat-Family's absences, emergency medical attention, acting as mission control, emotional counseling and support, teaching Bruce how to be a father, being Bruce's surrogate father, grounding the Batfamily with his trademark snark, sewing GPS trackers onto all their clothes, being a chauffeur (which includes flying private jets), making sure the Batfamily actually gets to sleep, on top of organizing every Robin in Gotham City. Bruce values the man for a reason.
  • The Jeeves: What do you expect from one of the most classic butlers in existence?
  • The Medic
  • Old Retainer
  • Papa Wolf: See Beware the Nice Ones/Combat Pragmatist. He will step in to assist his charges if he has to. On one occasion, he even shot a PREDATOR that was overwhelming Batman.
  • Parental Substitute: Openly acknowledged in a holo-message Bruce left to play in the event of his death. He refers to Alfred as his father and thanks him for raising him.
    • Following the events of Final Crisis, he quietly grieves, "My son has died."
  • Retired Badass: Former S.A.S soldier who still can kick ass if he wants to.
  • Secret Keeper
  • Servile Snarker: We actually considered naming this trope after him.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man
  • Team Dad
  • Undying Loyalty: Alfred will never EVER abandon Batman.
    • Except for the one or two arcs where he temporarily retires, because he thinks he's holding Batman back from growing up ("Officer Down", for example).
  • Vague Age: Alfred's age in relation to Bruce hasn't been determined outside of "older than Bruce". This has led adaptations to vary widly with his age in relation to Bruce's such as him being in his early 50s either when Bruce is starting out as Batman or when Thomas and Martha Wayne died, to being in early 70s as a 30 year old Bruce Wayne starts his career as Batman, to being in his mid-60s as a Bruce who's in his 40s is coming out of retirement.
  • You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Alfred calling Batman 'Bruce' and not Master Bruce, is a rare occurrence, and only happens when something is very, very bad, or when it's very, very heartwarming.

The Robins

The Batgirls

Other Central Batfamily Members

     Batwoman I (Katherine Webb Kane) 

Before you ask, no, Batwoman was not Batman's wife. Not even in the Silver Age (no matter what that one comic cover on says). Kathy was, however, designed to be a possible romantic interest for the Dark Knight (mainly to dispel the Ho Yay Shipping between him and Robin), as well as an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Superman's "family members", such as Supergirl. As a rich heiress and a former circus performer, Kathy's life was rather untouched by tragedy, and she mainly became a crimefighter because of her attractions to Batman. Eventually, her niece Betty joined in on the fun as well, as Robin's love interest Bat-Girl.

Although rather sexist by our standards (she had a utility purse!), Kathy and her niece, the original Bat-Girl, were fairly popular back in the fifties and sixties. So, of course, when the Dark Age ensued, she, her niece, and a handful of other characters were wiped from the Caped Crusader's life (it's actually more complicated than that, as Kathy existed on both Earth-1 and Earth-2, and when Crisis on Infinite Earths is brought into the equation...)

In the last few years she was reintroduced into the Post-Crisis universe by Grant Morrison as Katherine Kane nee Webb. A wealthy widow with an eye for thrills and dangerous men. At some point during her fling with Batman, she was murdered. Though the circumstances of her death have recently been put into scrutiny.

  • Action Girl
  • Back from the Dead: Thought to be this at one point, where the current Batwoman fought her in an abandoned carnival. Though it was revealed she was only an impostor. Though it's strongly implied she may be less dead than they thought. She's then shown to still be alive at the end of Grant Morrison's New 52 "Batman Inc." run, having become an assassin. She then tells Bruce to not bother finding her.
  • Becoming the Mask: After she had fallen for Batman, she tried to get out of her deal with Spyral.
  • The Chick: Utility purse, high heels, powder puff filled with mace, she's got it all.
  • Comforting the Widow
  • Cousin Oliver: Her original incarnation during the Silver Age. In recent flashbacks to this period, even Dick was shown thinking the idea was stupid.
  • Damsel in Distress: Often enough
  • Legacy Character
  • May-December Romance: She was older than Bruce at the time. When trying to break things off with Bruce, she claimed that she was too old to be running around in costumes with a younger guy like him.
  • Name of Cain: She married into the Kane family, and people claim his death was caused by the "Kane family curse". Judging by what's happened to the family of other people sharing the name, how can you blame them?
  • Posthumous Character: These days she is usually only shown through flashbacks of Bruce's past, and established to have died during his early years.
  • Put on a Bus: After Crisis on Infinite Earths, she was supposedly erased from existence. Up until Grant Morrison brought her back during Batman R.I.P. via flashbacks.
  • Retirony: She was murdered only after she decided to hang up the cape for good.
  • Stuffed In The Fridge: Her initial demise in 1979.
  • The Vamp: She was initially out to seduce Batman to uncover his identity for the crime league, Spyral.

    Batwoman II (Katherine "Kate" Kane) 

Come the Modern Age, Kathy has been revamped as Katherine "Kate" Kane, a lesbian and a Jew who is much less of a Distaff Counterpart to Batman. During the 52 weeks following Infinite Crisis, she filled in for the Caped Crusader while he went on his self-discovery journey. She became the star of Detective Comics after Batman's "death" inFinal Crisis. The first issue sold out despite the notoriously low popularity of female-headed superhero comics and the old claims that gay characters don't sell.

Previous to her series, in 52, DC had some trouble fleshing out the character. She was basically a Lipstick Lesbian with Combat Stilettos. However, when she got her own series, both these traits were promptly dropped. While Kate is definitely not butch, she does wear her hair short out of costume and insists on wearing tuxedos to dances. She also now wears practical flats in costume. Now the tropes that define Kate are:

  • Action Girl
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: The new incarnation is Gay and Jewish.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Well, she THOUGHT she was...
  • Anti-Hero: Kate decided to become a vigilante crimefighter as an outlet and expression of her depression, listlessness and refusal to accept the decision of society to refuse her help.
  • Badass Gay
  • Being Good Sucks: Ever since her mother and twin sister were murdered, Kate Kane only had one dream, and that was to serve her country. When rumors began to circulate that she was gay she was given the opportunity to say it was a mistake and have the entire affair swept under the rug. She refuses, unwilling to compromise her personal integrity even for something this important, and subsequently loses the only dream she has.
  • Daddy's Girl: Her father was her main line of support, supplying her with information and gadgets as she began her career as Batwoman. Issue #0 of her solo series reveals that their relationship has been drastically altered after the revelations of Kate's childhood.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: A large section of her Detective Comics run covers the years after she was expelled from West Point, where the running theme (and commentary from friends and family) is that she is listless and undriven, and that she does not know what to do with her life.
  • Fiery Redhead
  • Goth: After her initial appearances in 52, she started wearing black and grey casual wear rather than fashionable red dresses.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Kate is forced to resign from the United States Military Academy at West Point she is first given the option of denying the affair and having the event swept under the rug. She will not deny that she is gay, so she admits to the charge and is discharged. However, she has a third option, which is to say nothing (Neither confirm or deny the accusation) which would result in an official investigation that could potentially rule that the "charges" were incorrect, allowing her to stay in the military without actually lying to a superior officer. Before Kate makes any definitive statement she first asks if there is anybody else under investigation, and when she hears that nobody else has been accused she confesses. If she remained silent and there was an investigation, her girlfriend, Sophie Moore, could have been discovered as well. Kate accepted discharge, from the only dream she had in life, in order to keep her lover from being discovered.
  • Honour Before Reason: When confronted by her commanding officer over accusations that she is gay, Kate is given the option of denying the charge and having the entire affair swept under the rug. However, she admits to the charge and resigns from the United States Military Academy at West Point, quoting the Cadet Honor Code as she does: "A cadet shall not lie, cheat or steal, nor suffer others to do so... I'm Gay."
  • Lady in Red: In her very first appearance in 52 she is dressed in a long, flowing red dress, and she wears out that dress.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: As Renee Montoya says, "Kate Kane has the kind of beauty that leaves you breathless" when she appears for the first time. Her redesign for Detective Comics, as drawn by Williams, seems to deliberately play around with mixed butch and femme elements in her civilian wear, like wearing a tux with feminine hair and make-up, or a halter-necked top with a buttoned shirtfront and tie printed on the front.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • Her twin sister, Beth, turns out to be alive... and unfortunately evil.
    • As of Batwoman 17, it's hinted that Mr. Bones is Beth and Kate's brother, or at least related to them. Though this turns out just to be a delusion on Bones's part.
  • Military Brat: Kate's father was a SpecOps trooper, and her mother an Intel officer.
  • Military Superhero: Was a cadet at Westpoint and well on her way to become an outstanding Army officer... until she quit because of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. She sees her superheroics as her new vocation in life, and her Army training pays off a thousandfold.
  • Name of Cain
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Kate and Beth's completely conflicting ideologies.
  • Red-Headed Hero
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead
  • Technical Pacifist: She has no qualms with roughing up her enemies, or even breaking the skull of a mutant fish-faced crocodile creature, but killing is off-limits.
  • Twin Desynch: Played painfully straight; Beth has altered her appearance so much that her own twin sister couldn't recognize her.
  • Twofer Token Minority: The newest incarnation is lesbian and Jewish, and they manage to work both angles into her stories logically as she celebrates a mixed Hanukkah/Christmas holiday season with her on-again, off-again girlfriend.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: She refused to lie about her sexual orientation in the army, which is why she was dishonorably discharged.

    Batman V (Terry McGinnis) 

Forty years into the future, Batman hasn't been seen in Gotham for decades, but 16-year-old Terry McGinnis, an ex-juvenile delinquent whose father was murdered on the orders of Derek Powers, the corrupt CEO of Wayne Enterprises after a hostile takeover, accidentally stumbles upon the secret that the reclusive billionaire, Bruce Wayne, was in fact the legendary Batman. Bruce isn't happy about the kid finding this out and is especially unhappy when said kid calls him out on his inaction over the corruption that still plagues Gotham. But after some bonding over some breaking and entering and stopping chemical weapons from being distributed, Bruce eventually decides to offer Terry the chance to be trained as the new Batman in Neo-Gotham.

Later, about 15 years into Terry's career as the Tomorrow Knight, it is revealed that Bruce is Terry's biological father. The head of Project Cadmus, Amanda Waller, had over written Terry's father's reproduction DNA with Bruce's. Her reasons being that she believed the world needed a Batman once Bruce was gone and she was hell bent on creating one. However, the next step in the process, to kill Terry's parents in front of him as a child, fell through and Project Batman Beyond was abandoned thereafter. The fact that Terry became Batman anyway was completely a coincidence.

In his crime fighting, Terry usually has Bruce's help via radio as well as quite a few advanced toys in his combat suit, including flight, limited invisibility, enhanced strength, and a whole lot more. Unlike his predecessor, Terry likes to talk and rile his opponents. He is decidedly less cynical and jaded and thus has a far healthier view of the role of Batman. Terry sees being Batman as an active redemption for his past sins as a criminal and a "bad kid" but he's also not afraid to enjoy the perks of the job and how it can be the coolest thing in the world.

The Terry McGinnis character started out in the animated series Batman Beyond, one shot, while meeting Bruce for the first time since his a show that was pitched as Batman in high school. Defying all odds, the show was a runaway hit. In 2010, after nearly a decade of lobbying and one or two teaser appearances, DC officially made Terry and his future world part of the DCU multiverse with Terry officially appearing first in Superman/Batman Annual #4, then in his own now ongoing series titled Batman Beyond.

These adventures, however, only took place in the alternate world of Earth-12 of the DC multiverse. Terry has since been adopted into the current mainstream DCU continuity where he is the fifth known incarnation of Batman (after Bruce, Jean-Paul, Dick, and Damian) and is now under the guidance of Damian Wayne instead of Bruce. The poor kid.

  • The Atoner: Terry believes his time as Batman makes up in some small part for all the trouble he caused as a delinquent.
  • Break Them by Talking: Terry pulled one of these over on the Joker.
  • Badass Normal: He can still kick ass outside the suit.
  • Canon Immigrant: He was very popular, but the setting of his story seventy years into the future, as well as being a new Batman, were significant roadblocks in allowing him to be included in the comics. His entrance was delayed for over a decade.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The suit isn't invulnerable, but it was at first the only thing allowing Terry to be in the field without being torn to shreds before he got more training.
  • Cool Car: His Batmobile flies.
  • Dating Catwoman: Terry had his own version of this on the show and now there's a (new) Catwoman in the new comic.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "A huge smoking hole. Could be a clue."
  • Delinquent: Terry used to be a criminal when he was a kid, but seemed to be scared straight by juvie hall.
    • Terry's own particular form of Combat Pragmatism draws heavily from his street fighting days; in fact, he's one of the dirtiest fighters in the bat-family (which is saying something).
  • Depending on the Writer: his need to rely on the suit's abilities or not at least in the DCAU to help him at first but later on he's shown being just as good as Bruce is out of the suit as well has in it.
  • High School Sweethearts: Terry and Dana. In the future, Dana will eventually know Terry is Batman, and they'll get married.
  • Legacy Character: He's the second or fifth Batman depending on the continuity you follow.
  • New Neo City: Terry operates in Neo-Gotham.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: "Until a moment of violence brought him to the home of Bruce Wayne....."
  • Secret Legacy: Thanks to DNA replacement therapy that Warren McGinnis unknowingly went through, Terry is Bruce Wayne's son.
  • Redheaded Stepchild: One of the biggest signs that Bruce was his biological father. Since Mary and Warren McGinnis were red- and light brown-haired respectively, only one of his grandparents could have had black hair. Meaning it was a serious genetic stretch for Terry to have it, let alone his little brother too.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Following the trend of the Bat-family, if not the entire comic book genre, Terry is a handsome guy with a troubled past.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Terry likes to talk when he's kicking your ass.
    Ma Mayhem: This is getting old, Batman.
    Terry: Look who's talking.

    Bat-Girl / Flamebird / Hawkfire (Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Kane/Betty Kane) 

During Pre-Crisis, Betty Kane was the niece of Kathy Kane and dressed up along with her aunt in order to meet their heroes (and potential love interests) Batman and Robin. She was routinely turned down by Robin, as seen below, but that didn't deter her! That is, until the Crisis on Infinite Earths occurred. Post-Crisis, Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Kane (pronounced the same way, mind you!) was a teenaged tennis prodigy who, after becoming infatuated with the red and green fellow with a cute butt and a domino mask, decided to become a superheroine herself. From there, she created the identity of Flamebird, making a metajoke on "Nightwing and Flamebird", a Kryptonian superhero legend that there really wasn't a way for Bette to know about.

She was part of the Teen Titans for a while and did her best to attract that cutie Dick Grayson, eventually failing and giving up on the whole superheroine thing. But not being a superheroine and just being a tennis prodigy with perfect grades and lots of money got boring after a while and so she attempted to reignite her Flamebird identity. So far, it's not going so well. After an incident where she is gravely injured, she adopts a darker attitude towards crime fighting and has renamed herself Hawkfire.

Additionally, Post-Crisis Bette Kane is the cousin of new Batwoman Kate Kane and looks up to her greatly, even not knowing she's that red and black bat-shaped thing running about Gotham. Although that may change sometime soon...

  • Action Girl: At some points, written as practically being in it partially for the thrill of it all.
    • Faux Action Girl: Though alternatively, her Pre-Crisis Bat-Girl incarnation as well as her initial Post-Crisis appearances came off as these, as she was more concerned with showing off to look good and to try to gain her crush's attention.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: To her dismay.
  • Ascended Fangirl: This is how she started.
  • Canon Immigrant
  • The Chick: As Bat-Girl she had a utility purse like her aunt, as well as wearing a dress and impractical heels to fight crime with.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Turned into one beginning with Batwoman's run in Detective Comics, as an artistic contrast to her cousin. Later colorists however, have reverted her back to having lighter skin (but never as light as Kate's).
  • '80s Hair: Initially had an outrageous perm when introduced as Flamebird.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Robin's attitude to Bat-Girl, which rather undermined the whole "See? Love interest! Not gay!" thing.
  • Magic Skirt: As Bat-Girl, and to an extent with her first Flamebird costume (though she did wear tights underneath).
  • Plucky Girl
  • Retcon: Her history as Bat-Girl never happened in the Post-Crisis era, so readers are supposed to imagine her as Flamebird in any instances where she was with the original Teen Titans. Unless you count her cameo in Grant Morrison's Batwoman story as canon, but that's been rendered moot by the New 52.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Her middle name is usually spelled "Elizabeth", but was spelled "Elisabeth" in Sean McKeever's run of Teen Titans.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Could be seen as this in her early career as Flamebird, and as Bat-Girl.
  • Stepford Smiler: Implied in her appearance in the Hawk and Dove Annual, by Dove's analysis of her personality that she's actually a lonely and depressed girl desperate for company and contact with others.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Subverted, she get's maimed by the Hook, and it gives Kate more angst, as well as directly leading to The DEO figuring out Kate's identity, and leaves her in a coma for most of the "To Drown the World" Arc. However, she gets out, copes with the PTSD, and begins to take Crime fighting more seriously. She trains with her uncle, and joins in on the final battle, taking out the Hook, and helping beat Bloody Mary.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the Beast Boy mini-series.
    • Took another in the Batwoman ongoing, becoming Hawkfire.

    Ace the Bat-Hound 

Ahh, the Silver Age. In this era of lightheartedness, sidekicks were abound, both human (or at least humanoid) and animal. Over in the Superman titles, Krypto the Superdog had made his debut, so a question was raised, "Why can't Batman have a canine sidekick as well?" And so Ace the Bat-Hound was born.

With his identity as Bruce Wayne's guard dog, Ace fought alongside his master and his ward in their never ending crusade against crime... at least until Crisis on Infinite Earths where he was by and large abandoned by DC. Ace re-appeared in 1991 as a dog living in the Batcave, no longer wearing the Bat-Hound mask, but disappeared again after the No Man's Land storyline. In more recent times, Ace has made regular appearances on the animated Krypto the Superdog television series. Bruce Wayne also had a dog named Ace in Batman Beyond, who even got to be the focus of one rather touching episode.

A new 'bat hound' has appeared in the New 52. Named Titus, he is the pet of Damian who was bought by Batman for him.

    Azrael II / Batman II (Jean-Paul Valley) 

"I'm not him — I'm a lot moreand a lot worse."
Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley)

Azrael first debuted in 1992 with the Batman: Sword of Azrael miniseries. The reason Azrael was created was to introduce a replacement for Batman during the Knightfall arc.

So, anyway, Jean-Paul Valley was just an ordinary postgraduate student in Computer Science at Gotham University, when his father stumbled into his dorm, bleeding to death. Just before he died, good ol' dad informed him that he was actually the most recent in a long line of enforcers/assassins who worked for the Sacred Order of St. Dumas. So, after a series of misadventures involving a trip to Switzerland, training with a short old guy, allying with Batman, and defeating the weapons dealer that killed his father, Jean-Paul had learned that every Azrael was trained by being subjected to a series of subliminal messages (known as "the System," this training was "programmed" into an individual, and remained latent until activated by hypnosis) since childhood. Inspired by Batman, he rejected the Order of St. Dumas and saved the Caped Crusader from death. He even filled in for Batman for a while during the Knightfall arc, while the Dark Knight was incapacitated. Unfortunately, Azbats went crazy due to the System, and made a suit of armor to replace the Batsuit, which included adding a frikkin' flame-thrower and claws to it. The whole point of the arc was to show fans who wanted Batman to be more like The Punisher what would happen if that want became reality. Anyway, when the fan reaction was largely negative, they had Batman reclaim the title in a battle where he outwitted Jean-Paul, who finally came back to his senses when he took off the Azbatsuit's helmet.

So he went back to being Azrael, and even got his own title, which ran for a solid 100 issues (retitled Azrael: Agent of the Bat at issue #47 in an attempt to boost sales by tying it in with Batman). He even changed his costume a few times, and was a major player in the Batman No Mans Land arc. His comic was okay for the majority, but all good things must come to an end eventually. Unfortunately, the writing and art got really crappy, despite Denny frikkin' O'Neil and Sergio Cariello being the main creative team, killing off Jean-Paul in the final issue, after which he was never mentioned or heard from again, aside from popping up in Blackest Night for a single page. Some have speculated that the reason Azrael: Agent of the Bat was never really popular was because O'Neil and Cariello were the only creative team the book ever had, which often resulted in old ideas recycled, and an almost complete lack of character development for Jean-Paul.

Tropes that apply to Jean-Paul Valley:

  • Adventure Towns: Ossaville (Population originally 56, now less than 28. Have A Nice Day), the new homebase for Jean-Paul Valley after the "Losses" arc (73-75), became one of these after ol' Az settled down there.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Besides the obvious differences, he has a LOT in common with Daredevil.
    • AzBats was deliberately designed to be a Straw version of Marvel's Punisher and other ultra-violent heroes. The comparison is especially noticeable in a Batman / Punisher crossover published during his tenure.
  • Anti-Hero: Slides all the way down the scale in Knightfall.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: For Batman during the Knightfall arc.
  • Archenemy: Jean-Paul Valley had two; Carleton Lehah and Nicholas Scratch.
  • Ax-Crazy: Jean-Paul Valley as Azrael could get pretty Ax-Crazy, though he wasn't as nearly as crazy as Michael Lane, who makes of habit of killing people deemed as "sinners".
  • Badass Boast: Most of the Azraels have a penchant for this, combined with a strong case of Large Ham.
  • Badass Bookworm
  • Beard of Sorrow: Jean-Paul Valley sported one of these following the "Losses" arc, while in mourning for his "brother," the Faux-Azrael, though he soon shaved it after a pep talk from Batman.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Jean-Paul Valley has this towards Cassandra Cain's Batgirl 2000.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Averted, as Jean-Paul Valley was gentle and friendly when not acting as Azrael.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: This happens to Jean-Paul when he's under the influence of The System.
  • Character Development: Sister Lilhy turned evil and allied with Faux-Azrael in order to re-found the Sacred Order of St. Dumas.
  • Chest Insignia: Jean-Paul's first costume had the fleur-di-lis on it, and his second costume had a red bat-symbol.
  • Clear My Name: Jean-Paul Valley had to do this at least three times, and it got more and more stale every time it happened.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Jean-Paul, you dork. Oracle has a stuffed doll of you next to her computer (Check issue #82 of Azrael: Agent of the Bat if you don't believe me). Huntress considers your team-ups dates (but perhaps that's cutting it a bit fine). And you have the balls to wonder why you can't get a girlfriend.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Apparently, the DCU just doesn't have any Protestants, or Lutherans, or Calvinists, or even Greek Orthordox...
  • Church Militant: Sacred Order of St. Dumas? Check.
  • Costume Porn: Jean-Paul Valley's first costume.
  • Cool Car: Averted. Apparently, nothing says "angel" or "agent of the bat" like a navy blue sports car with some slight modifications. The authors turned down the suggestion that he be given angel-like wings with the excuse "What? And get rid of his car?" Just read the "Az you like it" column in the back of Azrael: Agent of the Bat #81.
  • Deprogram: The System is some form of this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments.
  • Dirty Old Man: Subverted for Brian Bryan, though he has stated concerning Lilhy, "If I were twenty years younger..."
  • Canon Discontinuity: Jean-Paul Valley stated at the end of the Batman: Sword of Azrael mini-series that he and his father shared the same name. However, according to Azrael: Year One, his father's name was Ludovic Valley. This could be explained as simply Jean-Paul being mistaken, considering his somewhat strained relationship with his father... or the writer forgot.
  • Doing In the Wizard: What wizard?
  • Dual Wielding: Jean-Paul Valley had two flaming blade things on his wrists. See picture.
  • Expy: During the aftermath of Knightfall while he is filling in for Bruce as Batman, his darker and edgier (and crazy) version of The Dark Knight starts off as a commentary on comics of the time, but slowly he explicitly becomes Frank Miller's Dark Knight, cemented when he makes himself gauntlets with metal claws.
  • Face Heel Revolving Door: Lilhy.
  • Flaming Sword: Most of the Azraels had at least one, or a variation thereof.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Does this guy even have a memorial in the Batcave? Poor guy's only made one page cameos since his death in Blackest Night and Neil Gaiman's Continuity Porn (but out of continuity) Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? story.
  • Freudian Excuse: And a pretty darn good one at that. Extensive Sleep Learning combined with "the System" and becoming a "Well Done, Son!" Guy like Jean-Paul did would mess most people up pretty bad. See entries for Sleep Learning, Deprogram, and "Well Done, Son!" Guy for more information.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Jean-Paul used to wear glasses prior to becoming Azrael, and still did occasionally afterwards.
  • In the Blood: Averted for Jean-Paul Valley, who's father was an old-school version of Michael Lane, though Jean-Paul did become the new Azrael.
  • Innocent Fan Service Girl: Sister Lilhy.
  • Killed Off for Real: For the past ten years or so anyway.
  • Knight Templar: The Sacred Order of St. Dumas was actually a splinter group of the original Knights Templar.
  • Legacy Character: This whole Azrael thing has been going on since the 15th century, apparently, passing from father to son, and ending with Jean-Paul Valley.
    • Later on the identity was picked up minor character Michael Lane who even got an ongoing series for about five minutes.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Jean-Paul Valley was infamous for only wearing jeans and T-Shirts in most of his civilian appearances.
  • Mask of Power: After a fashion for Jean-Paul - only his Azrael persona (see Split Personality entry below) has his Badass combat skills, and he can only activate this persona by putting on his Azrael mask.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": All of the Azrael's are very good at instigating these. Take this example found in Plus #1, were Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley) teams up with The Question:
    Azrael: Know that you are evil. Know that you are abhominations. Know that you will be punished.
    Terrorists: (Mass "Oh, Crap!" expressions)
    (Curb-Stomp Battle ensues)
  • Mook-Face Turn: Lilhy used to work for the Order of St. Dumas before deciding to help out Jean-Paul, but then she was "Sister Lilhy".
  • Naughty Nuns: Lilhy is implied to have turned into this.
  • Nerd Glasses: Though he did look okay in his round glasses.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: Well, with Jean-Paul Valley at least, and only sometimes.
    • A lot, actually. Notably one of the first to actually be treated as... bad.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Frequently lampshaded in Jean-Paul Valley's early days. In the words of the Hitman:
    Hitman: He about half-thinks he's an angel... an angel with a Bullet Proof Vest.
  • No Social Skills: Jean-Paul Valley suffers from this.
  • Oblivious to Love: Lilhy couldn't take any of Jean-Paul's hints, so the poor guy just gave up.
  • Offscreen After Life: When Jean-Paul dies in the final issue of his series, he says "It looks just like the earth." And he was sporting his famous smile, so that's a good thing.
  • Oh Crap!: Not only are the Azraels good at instigating these, but it occasionally happens to them too. For instance, Jean-Paul is going about in a run-down part of town as Azrael in issue #32 of his series. He's just been fixed up by this old woman, when he realizes that he left his car unattended. His sudden realization and reaction to this are priceless.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Jean-Paul Valley, thanks to "the System," is an incredible fighter, but he lacks the experience and finesse of Batman, making him inferior to him. However, the Caped Crusader has acknowledged that if Jean-Paul could just get his head screwed on straight, he could have the potential to become an even better fighter than him.
  • Outdated Outfit: After a fashion. Ludovic Valley's decidedly more crusader-esque costume was one of the factors that contributed to his death.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Apparently, the residents of the DC Universe's idea of an angel is either someone dressed up in crusader armor or someone dressed up, well, like in this entry's picture.
  • Powered Armor: The final version of the Azbatsuit was this.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: Jean-Paul Valley's final Azbatsuit was this.
  • Sleep Learning: How "the System" works. Or, to be accurate, Subliminal Messages Played While You Are Sleeping Throughout Your Childhood Learning.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Sometimes.
  • Split Personality: Jean Paul's Azrael persona is significantly different from his civilian identity of Jean-Paul Valley. As the the sect that trained him was a largely medieval organization, he would often take a course of action would could have been more easily accomplished using modern technology. For example, during the Contagion arc, when a deadly plague was spreading through Gotham City, Azrael had to get the recipe for a cure to the hospitals. His solution to this was a mad rush across military lines, and though he succeeded, he discovered upon arriving at his destination that his allies had already sent the cure recipe to the hospitals by email. This is contradictory to the mindset of Jean-Paul Valley, who, being a student of programming, would be completely aware of such a solution. A third, though less developed, personality is Batman. This personality manifested during Jean-Paul's stint at the Caped Crusader, and remanifested near the end of his series. It combined the intellect of Jean-Paul Valley and the bloodlust of Azrael, but lacked the compassion of Jean-Paul.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Jean-Paul's inability to pull this off during his stint as Batman was Commissioner Gordon's first clue that there was a new Batman in town. The below scene doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
    Gordon: [...] ...Blame him... My God.
    Azbats: Something wrong, Commissioner?
    Gordon: You're still here.
    Azbats: So?
    Gordon: Usually I turn and you're gone.
    Azbats: I wasn't certain we were finished talking.
    Gordon: That never stopped you before.
    Azbats: I'll be going then.
  • Sucksessor: Jean-Paul Valley to Batman during the Knightfall arc. The whole reason it ever happened was to show fans why Bruce Wayne's Batman wasn't a brutal Anti-Hero like The Punisher.
  • Take Up My Sword: Batman (Bruce Wayne) appointed him as his Sucksessor after Bane broke Bruce's back.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: This happened to Jean-Paul a few times, what with "the System" and all.
  • Temporary Scrappy: Jean-Paul Valley was promoted as this when he turned into Azbats and the majority of the fans were not pleased.
  • Tragic Dream: After an extenuating day being Batman, Azrael reflected that after being the Avatar of Saint Dumas order, who wanted to conquer Jerusalem back again to Christianity, and presently being the Temporary Substitute to Batman, who wants to stop crime in Gotham City, he finds the fanatical obsessive founder Dumas was the wiser: Sure, Jerusalem was never conquered again, but it was a tangible goal, that could be achieved by someone eventually... stopping crime in Gotham is a madman’s dream.
  • Tragic Hero: At varying points in his series, though most significantly in the end.
  • Tykebomb: Apparently, Jean-Paul was subjected to subliminal messages and other mental conditioning since he was a little kid.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Jean-Paul Valley, Brian Bryan, and Sister Lilhy, again.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Nightwing.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Oracle. Who else?
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Played straight. Jean-Paul had terrible issues with both his real father, Ludovic Valley, and his adoptive father figure, Bruce Wayne. The elder Valley had always been distant from Jean-Paul, and rarely even saw him, let alone had extended interactions with him. Even in Jean-Paul's "system" induced dreams and visions, Ludovic is condescending and unsatisfied with Jean-Paul's actions. But then again, it was revealed in Azrael: Year One that Ludovic was actually trying to get him to safety, away from the Order of St. Dumas when he mentioned the instructions, so maybe he wasn't such a bad father. And then there's Batman. Imagine if your father was Batman. (Maybe Jean-Paul could identify with Damian) Indeed, their relationship has been compared to a very athletic father looking down on an intelligent but physically lacking son. On the other hand, Jean-Paul's father issues led him to identify with a lot of the villains he fought.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Jean-Paul Valley got this with Sister Lilhy a lot.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Why do you think they renamed Jean-Paul's series Azrael: Agent of the Bat at issue 47?

     Batwing I (David Zavimbe) 

David Zavimbe was a child soldier from the fictional city of Tinasha who's parents both died of AIDS. He and his younger brother Isaac were drafted into General Keita's army at a young age, and soon became prodigies in the art of murder. Disgusted by all the needless bloodshed, David eventually fled the soldier life and became an honest cop in Tinasha, doing everything he could to uphold the law. Once Bruce Wayne announced the Batman, Incorporated initiative, David became one of his hand-picked recruits.

Batwing first debuted in 2011, with the fifth issue of the first volume of Batman, Incorporated. He was one of the latest recruits to Batman's cause of combating the combined forces of Leviathan and Doctor Dedalus. He was seemingly killed by a legion of Talia al Ghul's Man-Bats in the one-shot Leviathan Strikes!, but was given his own ongoing series in the New 52.

Tropes that apply to David Zavimbe:

    Batwing II (Luke Fox) 

Luke Fox is the son of Bruce Wayne's coworker Lucius Fox, who took up the mantle of Batwing in Batwing #19 in the summer of 2013.

  • Genius Bruiser: Luke is not only a talented MMA fighter, but is also a brilliant mind who constantly tinkers and improves his batsuit. In Gothtopia, he synthesizes a cure for the hallucinatory gas that engulfed the city.
  • Legacy Character: Becomes the second Batwing at the urging of Batman.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Powered Armor: Moreso than his predecessor. It covers his whole body, has retractable wings, and all kind of gadgets stocked in it.
  • Secret Identity: Bruce Wayne isn't telling Lucius he's working with Luke, which the writers note will cause eventual friction between the two.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He's Terry McGinnis a few decades early.