Characters: Batman Supporting Cast
Batman has built up a large cast of allies over the years. These are his allies that are either considered to be "unofficial" Batfamily members or allies from outside the Batclan. Due to the nature of comic book continuity, currently held identities are in bold
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Commissioner Jim Gordon
Probably Batman's only law-abiding ally, Jim Gordon was a rare one - an honest cop in a city so full of corruption that everyone treated him as if he
were corrupt. Though his first meeting with Batman was on shaky terms, he eventually grew to accept that for the time being, Gotham needed the vigilante to keep order.
Like every other member of Batman's supporting cast, he has suffered many tragedies that would drive any normal man to suicide and/or insanity. The most extreme example came from Alan Moore
's The Killing Joke
where he was kidnapped by the Joker and tortured both mentally and physically for hours on end. Almost as mind-shattering was the killing of his second wife by the same man during the No Man's Land
story arc. The implication has been that you kind of have to be a little crazy to try to be an honest cop in Gotham to begin with, and Gordon's success at it has made him tough enough to survive anything the world has thrown at him.
Recently, his battle against crime has taken its toll on him, and he temporarily retired from the police force. He has since returned to his position as Gotham PD Commissioner, and continues to help out Batman as much as he can.
Catwoman I (Selina Kyle)
Meow.Main Article: Catwoman
She started out as a run-of-the-mill villain, but Catwoman is known by ninety percent of the world today as Batman's love interest. As the definition of a "cat burglar", Selina was, in many ways, as much of a dark counterpart to Batman as the Joker was (she's even got an animal theme!). Time after time, she would steal valuable jewels and the like (often items with a cat theme), and time after time, the Dark Knight would put a stop to her. As these "dates" went on, she became more and more infatuated with Batman, an attraction he mostly reciprocates but that he hates to admit.
Out of all of Batman's love interests, Selina is probably the most supported one, mainly because she's one of the few who can fight. By The Nineties
, she had moved out of "supervillain" territory and become more of an anti-heroine. Various origin stories by authors such as Frank Miller
and Ed Brubaker suggest that before she became Catwoman, she was a Street Urchin
who suffered a variety of (often sexually-related) troubles before becoming who she is today. After the nineties, she is a wealthy socialite who steals for the hell of it (and help out the Bat-Family on occasion).
For a while, Selina went straight, and even had a baby, but soon enough, the reluctance of the DCU
to let anybody in the Bat-universe have a happy life returned her to her costumed persona after a tragic event involving B-list villains Angle Man and Film Freak. Additionally, it is revealed that her going straight may have had something to do with Zatanna's magic instead of her own will. Either way, she makes a very effective hero when she wants to be. Her experience, skill, and social influence are second only to Bats himself, and she has no qualms using lethal force to get the job done.
- Action Girl and/or Dark Action Girl
- Amnesiac Dissonance
- Anti-Villain: We can never figure out which side she's on. Anywhere from Type I to Type IV. Yeah, Selina's kind of... complicated. Though she has settled down since the 90's as an ally.
- Berserk Button: It's best not to hurt any cats around her, but especially not the ones she personally owns.
- Also best to avoid hurting women and children. She has a big-sister instinct that you do not want to get on the wrong side of.
- Biker Babe
- Brunette: To Ivy's Redhead and Harley's Blonde in some cases.
- Cat Fight: Her own series is filled with these. Then again, what did you expect?
- Cat Girl: Kind of. She's purely human in biological terms, though.
- Though in "Fables of the Bat-Man," one of the Legends of the Dead Earth Annuals DC did in 1996 (long story short, stories of how people on other planets post-Earth view Earth's heroes and villains) combined her with Poison Ivy and made her an actual Cat Girl.
- Classy Cat-Burglar: She robs! With style.
- Combat Pragmatist: As a Bat-Family member, it's no surprise. This was also actually why she chose something as difficult to properly wield as a whip; if disarmed, she wanted something as unintuitive and difficult to use as possible so as to actually put her opponent at a disadvantage if they tried to use it against her.
- Combat Stilettos: Had a penchant for these in some incarnations, though they got sensible through the ages. She even wore combat boots for a while.
- Criminal Amnesiac: In The Golden Age of Comic Books, she was a Criminal Amnesiac, without even a villain talking her into it. A later Retcon said she'd made this up to facilitate her Heel-Face Turn.
- Damsel in Distress: Selina has been put in these situations many times. Her only fear, in fact, is a world where she has to be rescued by Batman at every turn. She's scared of dependency. That's why she tries to be a Damsel out of Distress.
- Dating Catwoman: Yet another Trope Namer.
- Depending on the Writer: Her relationship with Batman is this, especially now that they're together. Her and Bruce have been depicted as star-crossed soul mates, each other's booty call, and everywhere in between.
- Sometimes, Selina Kyle/Catwoman herself. Along with her backstories. She's been seen through prostitution in the grim and gritty streets of Gotham, an orphaned (and problem) child whose parents committed suicide, a high socialite to sharing low apartments with others, an amnesiac airplane stewardess, a beaten wife who stole from her husband to gain control of her life, and more.
- Femme Fatale: Most of the time.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe
- Friendly Enemy: Simply put, she's not evil, she's just an unapologetic criminal.
- Friend to All Living Things: All cats, at least. Krypto seems to have taken a liking to her as well.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Next to Dick, she's probably the one most able to call Bruce out and bring him back to his senses when he's gone over the edge. Most of the time, anyways.
- Give Her A Normal Life: Selina gives up her baby for adoption at the end of the One Year Later arc.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Subverted. Her latest costume has goggles that appear to be there for no reason other than making her look more like a cat. Look at the trope right below this one for the subversion.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: They give her night vision. And general eye protection, since her line of work tends to involve crashing through skylights and other potentially eye-unfriendly things.
- Green Eyes: And fits the character description, being mysterious and associated with cats.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door:
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Gives such a speech to Batman during the Hush arc. It doesn't work.
- Licked by the Dog: In "Hush", and by Superman's dog, no less.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: While she's no straight heroine, she does keep a number of cats that she cares for deeply. Official count is 17. She is frequently portrayed as donating money from her criminal endeavors to animal care charities.
- Mama Bear: If you hurt women, kids, or animals around her, good luck making it to the end of the day.
- Ms. Fanservice: Her life.
- Most Common Superpower: They're always well endowed. I guess the difference is how bigger they are or not. It just depends on the artist.
- Noble Demon
- Pet The Cat: Her main Morality Pets are children and cats, and sometimes members of the Bat family.
- Pirate Girl: Capitana Felina, the Elseworlds version of Catwoman in Batman: Leatherwing.
- Rape as Backstory: Several Post-crisis origins.
- Roofhopping: Especially when being chased by Batman.
- Sensual Spandex
- She's Got Legs: Legs, meet miles.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Even though she may chew out Bats for his "sickening sense of honor" as she puts it, but if she's attracted to him, it's for his righteousness and kindness towards her.
- Shadow Archetype: Of Batman.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Has this with Batman, but she seems to have an affinity for it by making it happen all the time.
- Spy Catsuit
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Both invoked and subverted during the same story arc. Hush cuts out her heart and hooks her up to life support in a deliberate attempt to hurt Batman in the worst way possible. However, when she gets her heart back and recovers, she's the one who goes after Hush and hurts him in the worst way possible: by financially ruining him so utterly that he no longer has two cents to his name.
- According to Gotham City Sirens (which has Continuity Nods to the Hush arc), the whole experience left her with an apparent psychological scar, where, despite the physical wound being healed, she still feels weak.
- The Vamp: Before Ivy came along, that is...
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Has a strict no-kill rule. Black Mask found out pushing her over the edge might cause her to change her mind, although she does regret it later.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Bats.
- Unstoppable Rage: Black Mask found out just how bad an idea it was to piss off Catwoman.
- Vapor Wear: Boy, does her current costume exert this, though it was pretty obvious beforehand.
- Whip It Good: Naturally.
- Wire Dilemma: In issue #61 of her own series, she winds up having to defuse one of Film Freak's bombs. As it turns out, cutting ANY of the wires would shut it down, making this a subversion.
- Woman in Black
Catwoman II (Holly Robinson)
Catwoman's pal Holly Robinson first appeared in Batman: Year One
as a child prostitute who lived with Selina Kyle. Later, Holly returned as Selina's Girl Friday
in Ed Brubaker
's relaunch of the Catwoman
title. Over the course of the series, Holly worked as Catwoman's spy on the streets, learned boxing moves from Wildcat, got a nice girlfriend, and became a den mother to a bunch of street urchins. Holly later became the second Catwoman when Selina temporarily retired.
After ending her brief stint as a replacement Catwoman, Holly left Gotham and was thrown into the cast of Countdown to Final Crisis
. Holly spent most of Countdown
in a state of constant facepalming
, as she began an Odd Friendship
with Harley Quinn and tried to make sense of a plot involving fake Amazons and Granny Goodness. Post-Countdown
, Holly ran away to Comic Book Limbo
, where she currently resides.
Huntress (Pre-Crisis / New 52) (Helena Wayne)
Batman and Catwoman finally
confessed their love for one another, then got married and had a daughter. The daughter, Helena, had all the benefits of being rich (an excellent education, etc.), was trained by her parents to be an excellent athlete, and joined Dick Grayson's law firm. However, tragedy struck and Selena was blackmailed into donning the Catwoman suit for one more heist, which led to her death. Swearing vengeance on the blackmailer, Helena Wayne became the costumed heroine, the Huntress. No, this was not a badly written fan-fic, this was what happened on Earth-Two, during the Pre Crisis
era. Even after her father, the Earth-Two Batman, died in battle with a villain after coming out of semi-retirement one last time, she continued crimefighting with Dick Grayson (still
going by Robin even though he was well into middle age), and joined the Justice Society of America
. Then Crisis on Infinite Earths
happened, and all of the Earth-Two characters "never existed".
...until the 'New 52' reboot, where Earth-Two is not the previous Earth-Two. In the New 52 Earth-Two, Helena Wayne was trained by her father to be the perfect Robin. Somehow or another, she ended up in the main 52-verse, where she took on the identities of Huntress and Helena Bertinelli.
Huntress (Post-Crisis) (Helena Bertinelli)
Main Article: Huntress
version of the Huntress. Her name is Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of one of the Gotham's major Mafia families. At the tender age of eight, she was forced to witness the brutal massacre of her entire family. After spending years training (one of her masters was Richard Dragon, who trained the Question and Barbara Gordon), she returned to Gotham to become the costumed vigilante, the Huntress. Unlike most members of the Bat-Family who eventually built a level of trust with her, Batman held a deep distrust of Huntress for a long time, believing to be too much of a loose cannon, although he eventually trusts her enough to sponsor her for the Justice League (her original JLI membership apparently having been forgotten).
Notably, she helped maintain order in Gotham during the No Man's Land
storyline, as a temporary Batgirl (and eventual Batman
) when she discovered that criminals feared the Bat more than her Huntress costume. She has since been forced to resign from the Justice League, although she still operates as a member of the Bat-Family and the Birds of Prey team.
- Action Girl
- Badass Biker
- Badass Teacher: she's a crime-fighter by night and a high-school teacher by day. Just try to threaten "her kids".
- Black Sheep
- Darker and Edgier: The main reason Batman didn't use to trust her was because she seemed willing to waive the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule.
- Death by Origin Story: In the continuity of the New 52, it has been established via retcon that she was killed as a young woman and had her identity usurped by Helena Wayne, her pre-Crisis counterpart. Later subverted: it turns out she's alive and working for Spyral.
- Fired Teacher: Before Oracle found her a job, she was constantly getting fired for missing days and showing up with wounds.
- Harmful to Minors: She watched her parents get shot by her her father's associates.
- Mafia Princess: Her childhood
- Really Gets Around
- Stripperiffic: the Jim Lee costume. Sigh... Gail Simone was at least able to poke fun at how ridiculous it was by revealing Huntress just really wants to show off her abs after all the sit-ups she does every day. Simone also has gone on record that she fought for years to get rid of the belly-window.
- Sudden Name Change: She had a case of her middle name changing. In her first origin and early appearances, her full name was "Helena Janice Bertinelli". In her revised origin and later profiles, her name became "Helena Rosa Bertinelli".
- The Unfavorite: Often comes off this way not only in the Bat-family (with Batman) but in Birds of Prey (with Oracle).
- A lot of Oracle's animosity is rooted to Huntress' past relationship with Dick Grayson.
- And the fact that Huntress spent a good deal of the beginning of Batman: No Man's Land using the Batgirl identity.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Inverted, it's specifically because they had "No hassle attached" sex in the past that this has developed between herself and Dick Grayson.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: In her early appearances, Huntress really wanted Batman to acknowledge her as being as good a hero as him. She's gotten over it for the most part, but a bit still lingers as seen in Hush.
Azrael III (Michael Lane)
Ex-cop Michael Lane has since succeeded Jean-Paul Valley as a new Azrael working for Sacred Order of St. Dumas splinter group the Order of Purity (written by Fabian Nicienza, and later David Hine), following a Deus Angst Machina
that rivals that of Tim Drake. Unfortunately, the series was the embodiment of Artistic License - Religion
& Darker and Edgier
; it ran a lot like your average Dan Brown
book. He also fought Theme Serial Killer
The Crusader. This series was cancelled at issue #18.
Azrael II later appeared in the Judgement On Gotham,
a Bat Family Crossover
which ranged across Batman
, Red Robin
, Gotham City Sirens
, and the Batman
again. It featured Azrael working with the Crusader (though both were under the influence of Ra's al Ghul
) to judge Batman, Red Robin, and Catwoman, in order to find one righteous person in Gotham City, or they would destroy it. Exactly why they just didn't go take a poll of the attendees of the local Christian churches is not known
. They both disappeared after end of the arc. The storyline in itself was motivated solely by the fact that Michael Lane, apparently, knew little of religion
, which is pretty ironic seeing how he's supposed to be a "Soldier of God."
- Anti-Hero Substitute: Michael Lane tried to be this during the Battle for the Cowl event where he was first introduced (Batman: Battle For the Cowl: Azrael: Death's Dark Knight. Dark Knight?). It didn't work out.
- Artistic License - Religion: The second series is filled with this.
- Ax-Crazy: Micheal Lane slowly got more and more Ax-Crazy as his series wound down to a close. He got better (slightly) after he came back from the dead.
- Back from the Dead: On the third day, no less.
- Big Bad Friend: Michael Lane's assistant, Adrian Paratino, actually works for Ra's freakin' al Ghul.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Check.
- Chest Insignia: Michael Lane's Suit of Sorrows has a Christian cross on it, though before he took the suit, the cross was modeled after the bat-symbol, indicating the previous owner of the suit.
- Christianity is Catholic: Same bad case of this as with Jean-Paul Valley's series, but shown more prominently.
- Church Militant: Order of Purity? Check.
- Darker and Edgier: Michael Lane's series is made of this.
- Deus Angst Machina / Death by Origin Story: This happened to Michael Lane in a degree that rivals Tim Drake's Deus Angst Machina. His son was hit by a car and died at age three. His wife committed suicide within a year. Only six months after her death, Michael's two siblings (his last living relatives) were murdered by an apparent Satanic cult.
- Deadpan Snarker: When he wants to be.
- Does This Remind You of Anything??: A lot of people have noted that Michael Lane's costume looks like something out of Assassin's Creed.
- Doing in the Wizard : Completely averted in Michael Lane's series, where the Suit of Sorrows is only described as "cursed" or "magic."
- Dual Wielding: Michael Lane carries two flaming swords; one red and one blue.
- Flaming Sword: Ditto. As stated before, Michael Lane has two.
- Friend on the Force: Pete Farrelli, probably Mikey's only real friend in the world, since Father Day is using him to accomplish the ends of the Order of Purity, and Adrian Paratino is actually working for Ra's al Ghul.
- Legacy Character: Applies, as Michael is only the most recent incarnation of a line of Azraels who work for Sacred Order of St. Dumas splinter group the Order of Purity. All they need is the Suit of Sorrows and a volunteer. All of the people who wore the Suit of Sorrows were eventually driven insane by it. It only took 6 weeks to do the trick for Michael Lane's predessor.
- Mission from God: Mikey is convinced that he's on one of these, though considering how around the bend he is, thanks to the Suit of Sorrows...
- Mook-Face Turn: Michael Lane once worked for Dr. Hurt of the Black Glove, and accepted an offer to become Azrael partly as his way of atoning for his perceived role in the demise of Batman.
- Offscreen Afterlife: Averted. Michael Lane briefly went to someplace that was obviously meant to be purgatory.
- Our Angels Are Different: Darn well they are. See Jean-Paul Valley's entry on this.
- Powered Armor: Michael Lane wears a suit of crusader armor called the Suit of Sorrows, which is made from the fragments of the armor of 100 crusaders slain in battle. It gives him enhanced speed, strength, and stamina. The only drawback is that it will eventually drive him insane, as has happened to all of the people who wore the suit before him.
- Religion is Magic: The Suit of Sorrows and the Sword of Sin and the Sword of Salvation? Natch.
- Servile Snarker: Adrian Paratino, Michael Lane's assistant, is very snarky.
- Theme Serial Killer: The Crusader murdered several members of the Order of Purity in manners based on the martyrdoms of various Christian saints.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Has happened to poor Mikey a few times, him being crazy and all.
- Tragic Hero: Played Straight, then Double Subverted, though possibly justified, making this Zig-Zagged. Explanation; Michael has many flaws and is willing to kill people when he deems it necessary, which gets him trouble with Batman when he was Bat-Devil. However, he himself is aware of these flaws (when not wearing the Suit of Sorrows), but can't seem to be able to do anything about it, or for some reason doesn't want to. On the other hand, the factors that led to him to becoming so messed up, which are exacerbated by extensive use of the Suit of Sorrows, make it pretty hard to blame him for what he's done. See Freudian Excuse entry above for more information.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Adrian Paratino and Pete Farrelli.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Adrian Paratino again.
- Will They or Won't They?: Michael Lane had this with his sister-in-law, Jenny Lane. They did it in a flashback from issue 16.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Suit of Sorrows is said to have driven all of its wearers insane. It only took 6 weeks to take this effect on Michael Lane's predesessor.
- According to this book, faith is the eighth deadly sin. Which makes no sense at all when you take a look at Hebrews Chapter 11, in The Bible. Yeah, you'd think they'd want to take a look at that thing before going around bashing Christianity.
- And apparently, the Apocrypha is real, a la The Da Vinci Code. (Spoiler: In reality, it is hilariously erroneous. Kind of like an Classical Greek version of some New Age jargon).
- He's supposed to be Chrstian, but Azrael doesn't show up anywhere in Christian texts. The only he connectionmight have is an incredibly vague one based on a somewhat similar name.
Batman's #1 fan is actually an imp from the fifth dimension with magic powers. Technically a hero, but he often ends up causing more harm than good. Sometimes gets into fights with Mr. Mxyzptlk, a Superman
villain of the same species. He vanished at the dawn of the more "realistic" Bronze Age
, but his existence was eventually reestablished in the Modern Age
in the Superman/Batman
story, "With a Vengeance". However, the state of his existence has been rather ambiguous since his return, with him both being described as a figment of Batman's imagination and an imp from the fifth dimension, which isn't helped by Grant Morrison
saying that imagination is the fifth dimension. However, his recent appearances have had him appearing whenever Batman loses his grip on reality, so it's entirely possible he appears during those times to mess with him.
Perhaps the most controversial member of the Gotham Police. He was initially sent by the corrupt Hamilton Hill as an Unwitting Pawn
to drive Commissioner Gordon into a nervous breakdown through his clumsiness and crookedness, but did a Heel-Face Turn
after Gordon actually suffered a stroke from one of his pranks, and got his own back on Hamilton Hill. He has a reputation for taking bribes and wrangling Miranda Rights, yet Commissioner Gordon and his partner Renee Montoya trust him unconditionally. Bullock was a "bishop" in the government agency Checkmate
, but eventually returned to Gotham. He was one of the few who stayed in Gotham during No Man's Land. After Jim Gordon retired after being shot during the storyline Officer Down
- when the man who shot him walked free
- Bullock killed the culprit and left the force. He became a PI.
After Infinite Crisis
and the return of Jim Gordon as Commissioner, Bullock returned to the force as well.
The Question II (Renee Montoya)
Renee Montoya was an officer of the GCPD. She was Harvey Bullock's partner until he was promoted to lieutenant and stayed in Gotham during No Man's Land; it was then that a connection between her and Harvey Dent/Two-Face was first established. After No Man's Land, her new partner is Crispus Allen, a cop from Metropolis. When she is outed due to Two-Face's machinations - Two-Face being in love with her - she is disowned by her family. Renee struggles with anger issues for more than a year until Infinite Crisis breaks and Cris is murdered by Dirty Cop Jim Corrigan
. She comes close to crossing the line
once more, and leaves the force. However, Victor Sage
took her in during this stressful time and made her his protégé.
The events of 52
reveal that she has become the new Question
after the death of Vic Sage, where she saved her friend (and ex), wealthy socialite Kate Kane, the new Batwoman
The acting CEO of Wayne Industries: Fox essentially runs the company, since Bruce obviously has other things to occupy his time. He and Bruce are very good friends, and similarly to Jim Gordon it is often implied that he has figured out Bruce's secret, though again like Jim it is never outright stated.
One of Batman's earliest love interests, Vicki Vale is a skilled and determined reporter for the Gotham Gazette
. Her typical subject of writing is Batman: she reports on his exploits and occasionally tries to puzzle out his real identity, but she's always foiled. She has a hidden crush on Batman, and less so on Bruce Wayne, creating a Love Triangle out of two people
, though she sometimes suspects that they're one and the same...
...What? No, she is not Lois Lane
! She has red hair!
She is completely, 100% different!
What with being a blatant Plagiarism
of the Superman
comic books who appeared primarily during Batman's Dork Age
in The Interregnum
, Vicki seldom shows up today. She disappeared in 1963, resurfaced in 1977 (and was promptly forgotten by the editors), and finally resumed love interest status in The Eighties
...right before the Crisis on Infinite Earths
wiped her history from existence. Post-Crisis
, her appearances are primarily limited to the occasional cameo
. She's done better in alternate continuities and media, having featured in All-Star Batman and Robin
, the 1989 film
(in which she was intended to be 1970s love interest Silver St. Cloud, whose name was deemed too silly), and The Batman vs Dracula
. She also has an Expy
in the form of Summer Gleeson
- Alliterative Name
- Always V Sexy
- Broken Bird: In modern comics, she's often shown to be a somewhat shallow tv show host who's jealous of Lois Lane's reputation as a legitimate news reporter and constantly embittered by her ex, Bruce Wayne, every time she has to report the latest gossip of his newest "Wayne Girl".
- Captain Ersatz: Of Lois Lane.
- Damsel in Distress: Though usually these days it's only because she refuses to stop sticking her nose into Batman's business.
- Demoted to Extra: After the 90s batman films proved to be less than stellar quality, Vicki more or less disappeared from all adaptations. When she returned to comics she had now been shown as a bitter pseudo-reporter, reflecting on her unpopularity.
- Heroes Want Redheads
- Secret Keeper: Pieced together the identities of the Bat-family's male members, and has kept it secret. Averted, in that the only reason she keeps the secret is because she can't prove it.
oldest love interest, and the first. A kidnapping-prone
socialite/actress, and Bruce Wayne's fiancee, Julie appeared in the earliest Batman stories in Detective Comics
and remained engaged to Bruce for two years before breaking it off, due to stress from, you know, being kidnapped so often. She then became an actress, then a princess, and then ceased to be of any importance whatsoever.
Again, only appears as The Cameo
, if ever. Writer / Artist Matt "Grendel" Wagner has done a fair amount of work with the character in a pair of excellent Batman mini-series exploring the time period during the Year One
era, just before the "first" Joker story, "The Man Who Laughs" and The Long Halloween
You might (but probably don't) remember her from Batman & Robin
, where she proudly continues her tradition of being Bruce Wayne's
beard arm candy
loving girlfriend and having virtually no personality or plot-relevance. Shine on, you crazy diamond
AKA: Robert Kirkland "Kirk" Langstrom
Doctor Kirk Langstrom created a serum which would give humans powers of echolocation, which he tested on himself due to him growing deaf. However, the serum instead transformed him into the Man-Bat, who would sometimes terrorize Gotham City. His wife, Francine, had taken the serum later on, and she became the She-Bat, and they flew through the night together. The transformation has been treated like a curse at times, but sometimes Kirk Langstrom is in full control of Man-Bat, becoming an ally of Batman and other superheroes. In recent comics, he is more often shown to be a hero. He and his wife have two kids, the first born daughter, Becky, being able to change into a She-Bat, and the second born, a boy named Aaron, was born in Man-Bat form due to his parents' exposure to the serum.
- The Atoner: Sometimes
- Bat out of Hell
- Chronic Villainy: Subverted.
- Expy: Is one of Curt "The Lizard" Connors. Really, regardless of where each character ended up, the only difference between their origins is the specific ailment they were trying to cure and the specific animal they were working on.
- Mad Scientist: In The Batman, Kirk Langstrom is crazy and became Man-Bat voluntarily. Though he eventually does a Heel-Face Turn.
- Professor Guinea Pig: A scientist specializing in the study of bats, he develops an extract intended to give humans a bat's sonar sense and tests the formula on himself because he is becoming deaf. The extract works, but it has a horrible side effect: it transforms him into a hideous man-sized bat.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Man-Bat could be seen as this when Kirk isn't in control.
- Super Serum
The Creeper (Jack Ryder)
Main Article: The Creeper
Much like Vicki Vale, Jack Ryder is one of Gotham’s most well-known reporters, infamous for his aggressive, truth-seeking nature he displays in his controversial talk show aptly named You Are WRONG!
After researching a famed biochemist named Dr. Yatz and his breakthrough in nanocell technology, Jack sought the doctor out only to find him held captive by a group of mobsters who intended to use his discovery for their own ends. His attempts at rescuing Yatz failed and he was shot in the head, but not before being injected with Yatz’s last sample of nanocells. The cells saved Ryder’s life, granting him a healing factor as well as enhanced agility and strength, turning him into an insane yellow skinned, green haired creature that took to calling itself the Creeper. Although unpredictable and considered deranged even by the standards of the other nutcases who plague Gotham, the Creeper is still moral at his core and fights on the side of good, even becoming an ally of Batman whenever their paths cross.
Unlike Steve Ditko’s other staple creations like Blue Beetle and the Question, the Creeper never really achieved the spotlight that his fellow heroes had largely due to the number of retcons and inconsistencies that have grown in his origin story over the years (the above story is the newest and most used version in the Post-Crisis continuity so far). Mostly, he’s featured as a supporting character who’s had a number of small appearances in main and alternate canon alike, most notably in the DCAU where he had his own episode in Batman: The Animated Series
as well as cameos in Justice League Unlimited
. More recently, he was a member of the newly established but sadly shortlived Outsiders, getting some long overdue action during their Blackest Night
- The Cameo: Aside from his many appearances in the comics as both Jack Ryder and the Creeper alike, he figures into animated continuities as this such as Batman: The Brave and the Bold and, most memorably, the DCAU.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Would you believe that a giggling freak with a rictus grin and green hair is one of the good guys?
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Poor Batman.
- When Hush posed as Bruce Wayne in the comics following Batman’s apparent death, Batman's friends and allies displayed a "show of force" to demonstrate how easily they could stop him if he tried anything. Most of them just block his path when he tries to escape (Katana going so far as to hold a sword to his throat), but the Creeper picks him up like a doll and throws him across the room. Later, he's seen in disguise personally babysitting Hush at work.
- Expy: These days his "Jack Ryder" persona seems to make a growing resemblance in appearance and attitude to tv personalities Stephen Colbert or Bill O'Reilly
- Fun Personified: Imagine the Joker in one of his wacky phases... as a good guy. Including the part where wackiness doesn't mean not being good at what you do.
- Intrepid Reporter: So much that he slips into jerkass territory now and then. He hosts a talk show called You Are WRONG!, not to say anything of the guest stars he has on just for the sake of deliberately antagonizing them.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In spite of his assholish tendencies with his fellow reporters, he’s shown to genuinely care where it counts when ex-girlfriend Vicki Vale approaches him for advice on whether or not it’s ethical to publish an incriminating story that could ruin someone’s life.
- Large Ham: He purposefully invokes this in his original Ditko incarnation, in order to terrify criminals into submission. All subsequent versions, though, have portrayed the Creeper persona as being genuinely out of his gourd.
- Laughing Mad: Sort of. His wild laughter made criminals extremely paranoid and nearly insane.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Depending on the Writer, his laugh can range from a deadly sonic weapon to just plain annoying.
- Our Demons Are Different: His Creeper side has been recently revealed to be demonic in nature.
- Slasher Smile
- Split Personality: Suffers from this depending on the story.
- Stalker with a Crush: Played straight with his DCAU counterpart and Harley Quinn, who he’s hopelessly infatuated with despite her hating him.
- Stripperiffic: Rare Male Example. His costume consists of a green speedo, red boots and gloves, and a giant, fluffy red boa. In the 2006 miniseries, the costume naturally grows on his body as another side effect of the nanocell technology with the “boa” resembling some sort of organic, tendon-like growth.
- Talkative Loon: The Creeper is not a quiet or reserved individual, as anyone who has tried to fight him will attest.
- Underwear of Power: As part of his Stripperiffic outfit.
Abuse (Colin Wilkes)
Colin was a ten year old orphan with a history of claustrophobia, chiroptophobia, abandonment issues, paranoia and violence. He had spent time in several foster homes, and underwent therapy sessions at the Children's Hospital. He was introduced to superheroes by George, a janitor at one of the orphanages he grew up in. He started collecting newspaper clippings, which was everything he had ever owned, along with his teddy bear Rory.
The Scarecrow abducted Colin and experimented on him with a synthetic Venom, hoping Batman would not fight children. But, realizing that despite Colin's grotesque appearance he was a child at heart, Batman used his Batrope to stick Colin's teddy bear to Crane causing him to attack Scarecrow instead of Batman. In the end, Batman prevented Colin from killing the Scarecrow by cutting his venom lines. Scarecrow was arrested, and Colin was moved to a hospital.
After the hospital, Colin was placed in St. Aden's Orphanage. He was still suffering from side effects of the Venom-treatment, and when he concentrated, he could activate it, changing into a giant behemoth. He decided to use this nearly indestructible form to fight crime, but knew he didn't look the part. He donned a trench coat and a hat, and ordered custom-made brass knuckle dusters that carried his new name: Abuse.
Though his first superheroing involved stopping robberies, he later turned to something bigger when he found children's bodies in the river. After investigating Humpty Dumpty's connection, he teamed up with Robin to take down the cause of the bodies: an illegal fighting ring for children, operated by Mr. Zsasz. Robin and Colin took him down, and shut down the operation. As a sign of gratitude, Robin gave Colin the Cycle of Abuse, a trike, because he thought Abuse looked stupid walking with his trench coat.
- As the Good Book Says: His inner monologue mentions the story of Cain's fate, as well as how he personally took it and applies it. Unsurprising, since his orphanage is run by nuns.
- Badass Longcoat: When in Abuse form. Complete with a fedora.
- Brains and Brawn: An argument can be made that he fits either or, with Damian fitting the opposite.
- Brother Chuck: Hasn't been seen since the cancellation of Streets of Gotham. And thanks to the recent DC reboot, it'll be a miracle if he ever shows up again.
- He has since gotten cameos in Li'l Gotham which is out of the main continuity.
- Healing Factor: When Damian asked a few days later if Colin was okay from the fight, Colin said "I... Abuse heals quick." It turns out he was mostly wearing all those band-aids because he thought they looked cool.
- Heartwarming Orphan: With his parents dead and moving from foster home to foster home, he's had to mature quicker than others. It doesn't stop him from being nice to other children and doesn't let his neuroses get him down.
- However, he was shown in the past to have had more serious issues (fear of abandonment, got into fights a lot) which he has mostly grown out of.
- Hulking Out: Albeit it doesn't require any Unstoppable Rage and he's still in full control.
- He can also do it partially, at first only affecting his leg so it would grow and break a restraint.
- Mild squick here, since you see all his veins get really big before he grows with them and it looks creepy for the 3 panels before he's fully Abuse.
- Morality Pet: Partially, to Damian. At least to where he convinced him to merely injure Zsasz badly instead of outright killing him.
- Power Fist: Brass knuckles shaped in the form of the word: "Abuse".
- Put on a Bus: Did not linger too long before disappearing entirely from the bat stories. Now that Damian's gone there's no one really left for him to interact with.
- Red-Headed Hero
- Secret Keeper: Met Damian as Damian before finding out he was Robin. Damian is probably also this for him.
- Super Strength: As Abuse, seemingly about to the same levels of Bane when he used Venom.
- Wake up, Sneak Out, Protect Gotham: Sneaks out at night to fight crime, with the nuns and other kids apparently none the wiser.
Bluebird (Harper Row)
Click here to see Harper as Bluebirdnote "Harper Row, you're not finished. No way."
Harper's father had a habit of breaking things, then would disappear for stretches of time. During this time Harper would fix the things her father broke. Harper claims that her earliest memories are of watching the building super strip and graft wires, and fix things that seemed beyond repair. Harper soon developed a talent for fixing things herself. Her relationship with her father is stated to have been abusive, as she lists herself and her brother among the things he would break. Eventually Harper applied for emancipation. After achieving this, she moved out, taking her brother Cullen with her, and applied for a job with the city electrical engineer, and gets a job doing maintenance on the city's electrical grid.
Harper and Cullen moved into the narrows, and broke contact with their father. After an encounter with Batman, in which he saves her and Cullen from a gang, it inspires her to find ways to help him. She begins looking up videos of Batman online, and soon discovers that he's been sabotaging city security cameras, to avoid any clear footage being found of him. Knowing due to her job, that he can't access the cameras from remote, she becomes curious as to how he achieves this. She soon discovers Batman's private enhancements to Gotham's electric grid and uses it to track her new hero. She also begins working on a way to improve the boxes, hoping to repay the Batman. Later she sees part of the grid go offline, assuming something is wrong, she investigates and finds herself in a position to assist him in capturing Tiger Shark. Batman subsequently visits her at work shortly after, and tells her to not to get herself involved in his activities again.
And yet, eventually, she takes up the identity of Bluebird and is seen working with Batman essentially as his sidekick, using the name Bluebird, with a costume seemingly inspired by Nightwing's blue outfit.
Talon (Calvin Rose)
A former agent of the Court of Owls
, escape artist Calvin Rose rebelled against his masters before they gave him their usual Immortality Inducer
. He now fights to bring the Court down once and for all.