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"I am vengeance. I am the night. I... am... BATMAN!"
Batman: The Animated Series, "Nothing to Fear", written by Henry T. Gilroy and Sean Catherine Derek.


The Dark Knight. The Caped Crusader. The World's Greatest Detective. The Most Dangerous Man on Earth. One half of The Dynamic Duo. The iconic Cowl. The Badass Normal Superhero.

The Goddamn Batman.

Created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger (who until recently was uncreditednote ), Batman is also one of the greatest Trope Makers and Trope Codifiers in not just comics, but all visual media; one of the oldest superheroes still in print — having debuted in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) — Batman is one of the three best known Superheroes ever (alongside Superman and Spider-Man), one of the flagships of DC Comics and one of the most popular comic book characters ever created.


At the age of eight, billionaire heir Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents at the hands of a mugger. Swearing vengeance against all criminals and vowing never to take a life, Bruce used his parents' vast fortune to travel the world and hone his fighting abilities and detective skills. When he felt he was ready, Bruce returned to his beloved Gotham City, intent on removing the criminal element that had overrun the city in his absence. Donning a costume with a bat motif to strike fear into criminals and armed with his keen intellect and arsenal of crime-fighting gadgetry, Bruce protects the streets of Gotham as "The Batman" at night while pretending to be a clueless playboy billionaire by day.

In addition to this appealing and unique origin story, Batman has an iconic supporting cast and, more crucially, the single largest and most iconic Rogues Gallery in all of comic book history, as well as one of the most beloved. Many of them are up there with the Dark Knight himself in terms of pop culture relevance and recognition. While his Arch-Enemy, The Joker, is the most recognizable, villains such as Two-Face, The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, and Mr. Freeze are recognizable even to those with only the most basic knowledge of comics. Over time, many of his enemies began to be written as dark reflections of certain aspects of Batman's personality, such as The Joker with overall sanity, Two-Face with duality and identity, Scarecrow with the use of fear, etc.


The Batman mythos has expanded into virtually every medium in the decades since the character's debut, and there's a good argument to be made for Batman being the most critically and culturally successful superhero in history. To put it simply, he has never gone out of style. Further proven by the wide variety and range of mediums he has been adapted into over 80 years and counting. He has been different things in different times. A pulp-fiction costumed hero modeled on The Shadow in his early stories, a campy pop-art TV Show in The '60s, a Darker and Edgier post-apocalyptic anti-hero in the mid-80s, Art Deco retro Genre Throwback in late eighties and early-mid 90s, modern neo-noir in The Oughties and the ultimate spectacle fighter in The New '10s. Initially, Batman swung between a bright, shiny Cape and a dark, nightmarish Shadow Archetype and the iconic Cowl. Since The '80s, the latter has been the main default trend, albeit varying in degree of darkness. Of course, since the character is inherently appealing, versions friendlier to children continue to be produced and made well into the current era, standing alongside the darker take on the character.

This series has a (very long) Character Sheet.

Batman Media:

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    Ongoing Series 
  • Detective Comics - DC's longest-running still-published comic series (though not longest number in issue number, as Action Comics overtook it in the 70s when Detective Comics was occasionally bi-monthly). Originally an Anthology Comic, Batman debuted in issue #27 in 1939 with the story "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate", and still headlined it up until 2009, when Batwoman briefly took over the book. Batman has since returned as the headliner. Various supporting characters, including the Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow and Black Canary, the Elongated Man, and the current Question have appeared over the years in various backup strips.
    • Recently returned to its original numbering in Detective Comics (Rebirth), and now features a "Bat-Boot Camp" where Batman and Batwoman, with the aid of Red Robin, train Spoiler, Orphan, and Clayface.
  • Batman - Batman's self-named monthly title, which debuted in 1940 (issue #1 featured the first appearances of the Joker and Catwoman). Considered to be the main flagship title.
  • World's Finest Comics - An anthology series that debuted in the late 1940s, originally it featured stand-alone solo stories involving Batman and Superman. However, with issue #71, the series switched formats to its now familiar "Superman/Batman" team-up stories. The series (which featured the first appearance of Scarecrow and Clock King) was cancelled in 1986. Superman/Batman served as a modern-day Spiritual Successor.
  • The Joker - the Clown Prince of Crime starred in his own short-lived series in the mid-1970s.
  • Legends Of The Dark Knight - A series that debuted in 1989, to tie into the release of the 1989 live action Batman movie. The series originally was a flashback book, focusing on past adventures of Batman, though by the early '90s (and the events of Knightfall), the book was revamped and took place in the here and now. Suffers from continuity issues, with several stories being considered non-canon.
  • Batman: Shadow of the Bat - Another Batman book, launched mainly as a vehicle for writer Alan Grant following his runs on Detective Comics and Batman. The series was much darker than the main Batman books at the time; in particular, the stories were often told from the POV of the villain. Launched in 1992, it lasted until 1999 with the conclusion of the Batman: No Man's Land storyline.
  • Robin - The solo series of Tim Drake, the third Robin. The series was preceded by three different miniseries, released 1990-91, 1991 and 1992-93 respectively; the ongoing launched in 1993 and lasted until 2009. It was then relaunched as Red Robin, which ran from 2009-2011.
  • Nightwing - The solo series of Dick Grayson, the first Robin, as he carved his own identity. The series initially began as a 4 issue miniseries in 1995, before relaunching as an ongoing in 1996; it lasted until 2009, when Dick Grayson took on the mantle of Batman. The series began again with the New 52 reboot. Following the events of Forever Evil, the series was relaunched as Grayson, in which Dick became a secret agent. In DC Rebirth it was relaunched as Nightwing again.
  • Gotham Central - A series that starred Renee Montoya and members of the Gotham City Police Department, with Batman only playing a minor role. While receiving critical acclaim (most notably for the story where Montoya is outed as a lesbian), the series ran for only 40 issues.
  • Batman: Gotham Knights - A series focused on Batman, but heavily spotlighting and examining the rest of the Batfamily, his rogues gallery, and their relationships to each other.
  • Batman Confidential - Another anthology series that replaced Legends of the Dark Knight. The series features classic Batman villains (who rarely appeared in Legends of the Dark Knight) and early adventures between them and Batman. Most notably (and infamously) the series is known for its Joker origin story, which uses the 1989 movie as its template.
  • Superman/Batman - Mentioned above, this is a team-up series with Superman that was the Spiritual Successor to "World's Finest". But unlike "World's Finest", Superman/Batman features major story lines for both characters, most notably Superman with its first arc featuring the two bringing down President Lex Luthor (which was later spun off into the direct-to-DVD movie Superman/Batman: Public Enemies) and its second arc re-introducing the Pre-Crisis Supergirl to The DCU.
  • Batman and Robin - Grant Morrison, who wrote Batman's ongoing comic from 2006-2009, was given his own book in which to tell the further adventures of the new Batman (Dick Grayson) and Bruce Wayne's son Damian Wayne, the new Robin. The series focuses on the fall-out from Morrison's popular run on the main Batman book as well as Damian's attempt to adjust to being a hero. As of 2011, it moved to the adventures of the Bruce Wayne Batman and his son Damian. Written by Peter J. Tomasi.
  • Streets of Gotham - A series written by Paul Dini that features the new Batman and Robin in the eyes of other characters. Also features a back-up feature starring Kate Spencer, the current Manhunter.
  • Gotham City Sirens - A series, also written by Paul Dini, dealing with the girls of Gotham, notably Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman as they attempt to live "normal" lives.
  • The Batman Adventures - The tie-in comic of Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Batman Impostors - The tie-in comic of Gotham City Impostors.
  • Batman The Dark Knight — Another ongoing series, originally written and drawn by David Finch. After a short initial run it was relaunched with the New 52, where it lasted until 2014.
  • Batgirl (2011) - A series about Barbara Gordon after she regains the use of her legs after the events of "The Killing Joke". Takes place in the NEW 52.
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws - The name of two titles starring Jason Todd. The first focused on Todd along with Arsenal and Starfire. This title split into two - Red Hood Arsenal and Starfire. The DC Rebirth relaunch has Todd forming a dark version of the Trinity alongside the Bizarro Superman and the Amazon Artemis.
  • Batwoman - The solo series of Katherine "Kate" Kane, who originally debuted in 52.
  • Talon - follows Calvin Rose, a rogue Talon on the run from the Court of Owls.
  • Robin: Son of Batman - The solo adventures of Damian Wayne, who seeks to redeem himself for his past with the League of Assassins.
  • We Are Robin - in the aftermath of Endgame, a group of teens form the Robin Movement to protect Gotham.
  • Arkham Manor - a six-issue mini-series that had Batman keeping an eye on the former Wayne Manor when it was repossesed during the events of Batman Eternal.
  • Gotham Academy - the adventures of the Detective Club of the titular Wayne-funded school
  • Batman Superman - the New 52 version of the popular Superman/Batman title.
  • Batwing

    Comic Storylines 
  • Year One - Flashback tale written by Frank Miller and illustrated by David Mazzucchelli which told of The Caped Crusader's first year in Gotham City and how he met then Lieutenant James Gordon. Critically acclaimed, it spawned a slew of sequels (Batman: Year Two, Batman: Year Three, the continuity of both being debatable) and mini-series that take place afterwards. It also created a massive Continuity Snarl (which was more-or-less, albeit uneasily, taken care of later), as far as erasing Batgirl from canon and introducing a new offspring for Commissioner Gordon, as well as a controversial new origin for Catwoman where she is a former prostitute. Many elements of the story were adapted into Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
  • A Death in the Family - Batman and Robin II (Jason Todd) go to the Middle East, to track down Jason's birth mother and stop Joker from stealing relief aid from the Red Cross for cash. In the process, Joker kills Jason Todd and his mother and ultimately finds immunity waiting for him in Iran, who offer to make him their ambassador in exchange for him poisoning the entire UN with Joker gas. Superman stops the gas attack and Batman beats the crap out of the Joker, who gets shot by a stray bullet from his Iranian henchmen, and his plane crashes into the ocean. Famous for the fact that Jason's fate was decided by a "1-900" call-in phone poll.
  • A Lonely Place of Dying - When Batman grows increasingly violent in the wake of Jason Todd's death, a young teen named Tim Drake deduces Batman and Nightwing's identities and seeks out Dick to get him to be Robin again. When Dick refuses, it's up to Tim to take up the dominoed mask and save the two from Two-Face, setting up the stage for Tim to become the third Robin.
  • Knightfall/Knightquest/Knightsend - Introduces Bane, who after forcing Batman to run a gauntlet of his worst enemies, breaks Batman's back. This forces Bruce to promote his latest sidekick Azrael to Batman status, which backfires due to Azrael having still not shaken the effects of being brainwashed into becoming an assassin and ultimately forces Bruce (when he's recovered) to face him down to reclaim the cape and cowl.
  • Contagion & Legacy: Two arcs which pretty much go together back-to-back. In the former, Gotham has to deal with an outbreak of Ebola-A and chronicles Batman's attempts to help contain and cure the virus. After which, in the latter, Ra's Al Ghul makes his return to the Batman books as he unleashes a massive plague upon Gotham City, as a test run to unleashing the virus upon humanity. Batman is forced to call in all of his allies (Catwoman, Azrael, Nightwing, and Robin) to help stop Ra's Al Ghul. But victory ultimately depends on Poison Ivy (whose blood holds the cure for the virus) and Bane (who has been recruited by Ra's Al Ghul to marry his daughter) helping Batman and his crew in saving the world.
  • Cataclysm and Batman: No Man's Land - An earthquake hits Gotham and the U.S. Government, rather than rebuild, orders the city sealed off. As Batman and his crew struggle to keep the peace, it soon becomes apparent that Lex Luthor is behind the government turning its back on Gotham City. With no government in the city, Luthor plans on destroying all records of land ownership, to claim the city as his own but fails when Batman stops him (though he is unable to prove to the world what Lex did). Mainly known for introducing the third Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) and reintroducing Black Mask into the Batman books.
  • Officer Down - It's a normal night in Gotham City, until a lucky punk has shot Commissioner Gordon and all of Gotham City's finest are looking for the shooter. Notable for largely writing Commissioner Gordon and Detective Harvey Bullock out of the Bat-books until Infinite Crisis.
  • Bruce Wayne: Murderer?/Fugitive - Following the events of No Man's Land, Lex Luthor became President and Bruce Wayne, in retaliation, severed all business ties with the U.S. Government in protest. In revenge, Lex orders Bruce Wayne's girlfriend murdered and Bruce framed for the deed. Making things worse for Batman, Lex Luthor hires the new Batgirl's dad to carry out the hit and since he knows Bruce Wayne is Batman, he is able to turn Batman's friends & allies against him as Batman struggles to prove his innocence.
  • Batman: Hush and Under the Hood - "Hush" was a warmly received and massively hyped story written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Jim Lee. The story deals with an alliance with new Bat-foe Hush and the Riddler after the latter figures out Batman's identity. While Hush had Batman run the gauntlet with much of his Rogues Gallery, a figure appearing to be a resurrected Jason Todd appears to confuse Batman. In the end, Hush's identity is revealed to be Bruce Wayne's childhood friend, Thomas Elliot, who has decided to harbor a deep hatred over Bruce's "gifted childhood" (AKA the dead parents). The buzz over the appearance of the supposed Jason Todd lead to "Under The Hood" where Judd Winick detailed the rise of a new Red Hood, which was originally held by the man who would become the Joker. Upon the discovery that the Red Hood was indeed Jason returned from the dead, angry that Batman replaced him and didn't kill his "killer", Batman has to stop his adopted son and former ward's Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Hush also saw Harvey Dent's face repaired and cured of his Two-Face persona until Infinite Crisis.
  • Batman: War Games and War Crimes - Spoiler decided to prove to Batman she was worthy of being the newest Robin by taking one of his plans and engaging in a massive Batman Gambit against all of Gotham's gangs that goes horribly wrong. The result? Black Mask becoming the top crime boss in Gotham and Stephanie Brown, AKA the fourth Robin, dying because Batman waited too long to get her medical treatment. The story was almost immediately followed up with War Crimes, which tried to retcon the story by saying it was longtime Batman ally Leslie Thompkins who withheld medical treatment from Stephanie, and then Infinite Crisis warped reality within months of the publication of War Crimes. War Crimes was erased from canon and replaced with a scenario where Thompkins, with Batman's permission, faked Stephanie's death to protect her from further reprisals from Black Mask.
  • Face The Face: Set during the One Year Later Time Skip after Infinite Crisis, Batman and the Tim Drake Robin return to action just in time to deal with someone killing off several of Batman's rogues gallery, with evidence pointing to Harvey Dent, who Batman left in charge of protecting Gotham while he was away after being cured. Notable for making the Great White Shark (introduced in Arkham Asylum: Living Hell) Gotham's top crime boss and the aforementioned returns of Commissioner Gordon, Detective Bullock, and Harvey Dent's Two-Face persona (including rescarring). Batman also adopts Tim Drake, who takes up a costume similar to his The New Batman Adventures incarnation.
  • Grant Morrison's Batman: A group of Story Arcs all written during Grant Morrison's run on Batman. All titles are connected by a large overarching storyline, and Morrison himself says that he intends for this group of titles to be part of a series.
    • Batman and Son: Batman discovers that his one-time sexual encounter with Talia Al Ghul left her pregnant. And now, several years later, she's dropping off her son on Batman's doorsteps so that he can teach the kid how to be a great man, as she prepares to take over the world with her army of Manbat Ninjas. Introduces Damian Wayne to the Batman universe.
    • The Three Ghosts of Batman: Bruce faces off against three psychotic Batman impersonators (a marksman, a steroid-fueled behemoth, and a raving Satanic killer) with ties to a cadre of corrupt police officers and a mysterious military experiment that Bruce himself took part in years ago. A prelude to Batman: R.I.P that introduces Dr. Simon Hurt, the leader of the Black Glove organization. Notable for giving us a glimpse of a possible future where Damian has become the new Batman.
    • The Black Glove: Batman's weekend vacation with a cadre of international superheroes he inspired takes a turn for the worst when the mysterious "Black Glove" destroys their transportation off an island, so that they can be killed off one by one.
    • Batman R.I.P. - The Black Glove makes its assault against Batman, and attempts to destroy his personality with long dormant mental triggers which were placed in Batman's mind years ago. Upon the activation of a mental safeguard in the case of such a scenario, the personality of "the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh" keeps Batman functioning until his mind repairs the damage and stops the Black Glove from killing him and invading Gotham City. Upon confronting the leader in an escaping helicopter, Batman becomes "cursed" to die the next time he wears the cape and cowl. After escaping the helicopter crash, Batman is summoned by Superman to investigate the death of a God...
      • Battle For The Cowl (not written by Morrison, but fits into the overarching story) - Bruce Wayne is dead, and a great void has been created in Gotham City. A war on two fronts has started that the Bat-Family must deal with: the recently escaped Rogues Gallery from Arkham, along with the various gangs and factions trying to claim Gotham as their own; and the appearance of a mysterious masked "Batman", who holds no qualms for murder (eventually revealed to be Jason Todd). After attempting to kill both Tim Drake and Damian Wayne, Jason fights Nightwing, and is defeated. Dick takes over the mantle of the Bat, and Damian becomes the new Robin while Tim heals from his injuries.
    • Batman: Reborn - Umbrella title for the various Batbooks dealing with Dick Grayson as the new Batman and Damian as the new Robin. Threats facing them are Jason Todd and a new Black Mask, along with new villains such as Professor Pyg and his army of circus freak show villains and the assassin known as "The Flamingo".
    • The Return of Bruce Wayne: The title says it all. Until it happens, we're treated to Bruce Wayne's displaced adventures in time, where he suits up in period-specific Bat-costumes and fights pirates and cavemen and stuff, due to continually being shunted around the timestream. Oh, and Superman says his return will bring about the end of the world...
      • Time Masters: Vanishing Point: A side story connected to Return as Superman, Green Lantern, Booster Gold and Rip Hunter travel through time in search of Batman.
      • Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: The culmination of the Batman: Reborn storyline. Vicki Vale seeks to reveal the identities of the Bat-Family to the world, but Ra's ah Ghul refuses to let her do so and seeks to kill her. The Bat-Family, the GCPD and the returned Bruce Wayne must protect her and convince her that what she's doing is wrong.
    • Batman, Inc.: After the events of the above storyline, Bruce Wayne decides to take the Batman operation international and train potential Batmen worldwide, leaving Dick and Damian to continue their roles as Batman and Robin in Gotham City.
  • Batman: The Black Mirror: While Bruce is busy with Batman, Inc, Dick stays on as Gotham's Batman. He, Oracle, Jim Gordon, and Tim Drake continue the good fight against evil auctioneers, nefarious car salesmen, pirates, and baby formula truck drivers.
  • Night of the Owls: Batman as of the New 52. Bruce is Batman again, though Damian is still Robin, and Dick still operates as Nightwing. A shadowy organization known as The Court of Owls, basically Gotham City's Illuminati, are trying to take back Gotham City, using pseudo-immortal assassins as their footsoldiers.
  • Death of the Family: After a year-long absence, The Joker returns to Gotham with a torn-off face and gunning for Batman's allies.
  • Gothtopia: All of Gotham except Batman believes Gotham to be a Sugar Bowl Utopia, though as the facade falls apart, the Scarecrow enacts a further scheme for control of the populace.
  • Batman: Zero Year: The revision of Batman's origin for the New 52. Unlike Year One, it has direct involvement of several classic villains, with The Riddler in particular serving as Gotham City's first supervillain and the arc's Big Bad, and has tie-in crossovers with many other heroes. Replaces Year One as the official Batman story.
  • Batman: Endgame: A story featuring The Joker's return after Death Of The Family.
  • Batman: Superheavy: Following the events of Endgame, the GCPD decide to make their own Batman with the original MIA.
  • Robin War: A storyline that pits Damian Wayne against a group of teens who proclaims themselves Robin, dragging in the previous Robin title-bearers and the brand new Batman in the process.
  • Batman: Prelude to The Wedding: A series of one-shots set on the eve of Batman's wedding to Catwoman in Batman (Rebirth).

     One-Shots & Limited Series 
  • The Untold Legend of the Batman - A three-issue miniseries written by Len Wein.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - An old Batman takes up the cowl again to fight mutants. And along with Watchmen, it helped start the Dark Age of comics.
  • The Batman of Arkham - An Elseworld story set in 1900. By day, Bruce Wayne is the benevolent head psychiatrist of Arkham Asylum. By night, he prowls the streets as Batman to defeat those who would eventually become his patients.
  • The Killing Joke - With the help of Alan Moore, The Joker gets reinvented into the insane sociopath we all know and love. This book is a major influence over all adaptations of the Joker following it. Notable for featuring Batgirl being crippled, paving the way for her reinvention as "Oracle", super-hacker extraordinaire.
  • Batman: The Cult - A man named Deacon Blackfire plans on using his secret underground cult to take over Gotham City. He kidnaps, tortures, and drugs Batman to convert him and use him against the very city he swore to protect. It's up to Robin (Jason Todd) to find Batman, escape Gotham, and together, put an end to Blackfire's reign of terror.
  • Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth - Grant Morrison's first Batman story, Arkham Asylum is what happens when the Batman's rogues gallery gets overdosed on horror, with a little of Lewis Carroll as well. An unholy force has taken over the asylum, forcing Batman to have to storm the place and save the staff. Notable for giving the back story behind the place, and it definitely wasn't pretty.
  • Arkham Asylum: Living Hell: A limited series that focuses on the hellish environment inside the walls of Arkham Asylum from the viewpoint of Warren White, a white collar criminal who declares himself insane to escape jailtime, only to find himself in Arkham, and is eventually driven insane by the other inmates, transforming him into the villain The Great White Shark. Also notable for focusing mostly on the C-list villains, as well as small time inmates created for the series, such as Humpty Dumpty, Death Rattle, Doodlebug and Lunkhead.
  • Dark Moon Rising - Two linked miniseries by Matt Wagner, Batman and the Monster Men and Batman and the Mad Monk, which retell two Golden Age stories in the post- Year One continuity. They lead directly into...
  • The Man Who Laughs - A one-shot issue written by Ed Brubaker, detailing the Batman's first encounter with the Joker. (Mainly an attempt to re-write the original Joker story with the modern characterization of the Joker).
  • The Long Halloween: Another Year One-era story, detailing the origin of Two-Face. The story itself involves a serial killer named "Holiday" bumping off members of Carmine "The Roman" Falcone's mob on various holidays. Much like Year One, many elements were adapted into Batman Begins (as well as The Dark Knight).
  • Batman: Dark Victory - Written and drawn by the guys who did The Long Halloween, this limited series deals with the fall-out of Harvey Dent's transformation into Two-Face as another serial killer "The Hangman" attempts to kill off a number of former and current GCPD members - including Jim Gordon. It also features the story of how Bruce Wayne adopted Dick Grayson, who dons the Robin identity at the end of the story.
  • Catwoman: When in Rome: A Perspective Flip focusing on Catwoman during the events of Dark Victory .
  • Batman: Thrillkiller - An Elseworlds limited series taking place in The '60s, in an alternate timeline where Bruce Wayne became a police officer after his parents' murder and Barbara Gordon inherited Wayne Manor after a penniless Bruce sold it. By 1960, Babs Gordon fights crime as Batgirl alongside her partner Dick Grayson (aka Robin, the Man Wonder) while Commissioner Gordon of the GCPD tries to put them both behind bars. Oh... and The Joker's a woman.
  • The Dark Knight Strikes Again - A sequel to The Dark Knight Returns, once again written by Frank Miller. Unlike The Dark Knight Returns, it features a cast of dozens, as Batman gathers an army of his former friends to free America from Lex Luthor and Brainiac, who have taken over the U.S. thanks to a sentient hologram president.
  • All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder - The Goddamn Batman (A.K.A. Crazy Steve) abducts the Goddamn Dick Grayson (age twelve) and goes on some crazy stuff in the Goddamn Gotham City.
  • Gotham Underground - A limited series that focuses on the effects of the Countdown to Final Crisis on Batman's rogues gallery, not to mention the recent death of Black Mask. While the rest of the Bat-family struggle to prevent a gang war from breaking out, Batman - undercover as a henchman - winds up in prison. By the end of the series, Penguin finds himself Batman's informant - whether he likes it or not.
  • Joker - Another one-shot, written by Brian Azzarello, detailing the Joker's release from Arkham and his subsequent rise (and fall). The Bat himself makes only a short but effective appearance. Quite a few similarities between the Joker depicted within and Heath Ledger's portrayal in The Dark Knight, but this is coincidental, this being written a good bit before the film was released.
  • Red Hood: The Lost Days - A six issue miniseries covering the tale of Jason's resurrection and journey to become the Red Hood as he plots his revenge against Bruce.
  • Batman Beyond - Based off the Batman Beyond animated series continuity. It started out as a six-part miniseries, but became an ongoing series in 2011.
  • Gotham by Gaslight - This is now considered the first DC Elseworld title; though not originally called such, it is labelled an official Elseworld in subsequent re-printings. In it, all of the key characters and events of Batman's origin have come to pass in the Victorian age. The story centered on first the Bat-Man, then Bruce himself, being blamed for a resurgence in Gotham of the antics of Saucy Jack.
  • Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? - A two-part Batman story written by Neil Gaiman, in the same vein of Superman's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", this is an epilogue to the Bruce Wayne Batman (in all of his incarnations). It was to be the 'last' story after his death in Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis and act as a summing-up of the character.
  • Batman: Digital Justice - An Alternate Reality story set exty years from now, featuring the grandson of Commissioner Gordon taking up the mantle of Batman to fight cyber-crime in Gotham City. Written/illustrated by Pepe Moreno and created entirely on computer (a new idea in 1990).
  • Batman: Detective No. 27 - An "elseworld" where Bruce Wayne never becomes Batman, instead becoming Detective No. 27. Named after Detective Comics #27, Batman's debut appearance.
  • Mad Love - Harley Quinn's origin story, which was later adapted for an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It received massive critical praise and won the 1994 Eisner Award for "Best Single Issue."
  • Batman Odyssey - A supremely bizarre miniseries (2010-2011) drawn and written by Neal Adams, featuring Batman's journey to the underworld.
  • Batman Vampire - A fairly well-regarded trilogy of Elseworlds that feature the Dark Knight being turned into a vampire.
  • Batman: Year 100— 100 years after his debut, the Dark Knight is still facing against evil, taking on corrupt government agents as The War on Terror runs amok.
  • Batman: Earth One - A reimaging of Batman's origin where he attempts to bring the man who ordered his parents' assassination to justice.
  • Penguin: Pain and Prejudice - A limited series told from the perspective of [1] that explores his past.
  • Batmite
  • Batman '66 - A continuation of the 1960 TV series.
  • Batman Eternal: A Milestone Celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman's first appearance, as a year-long weekly series that incorporates many elements of his supporting cast and rogues gallery back into the New 52, including Stephanie Brown.
  • Batman and Robin Eternal — 26-issue weekly series mainly focused on the four Robins. Notably re-introduces Cassandra Cain into continuity, as well as her father David Cain and Jean-Paul Valley; also reveals the secret backstory of Harper Row.
  • Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - A Crossover with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW)
  • Dark Knight III: The Master Race - A limited series written by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello that has Batman reuniting his fellow heroes to take down an intergalactic force of evil.
  • Batman: White Knight - A miniseries written by Sean Murphy where Joker is cured of his insanity and Batman has gone too far.
  • Batman & Captain America
  • Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds
  • Batman: The Dark Prince Charming - A two-volume graphic novel series from DC Comics and French publisher Dargaud.
  • Batman Vs Predator Trilogy, a series of mini-series created by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics that pit Batman and his allies against 20th Century Fox's infamous alien game hunter.
  • Batman Catwoman - a twelve-issue maxi-series set to conclude the storyline started in Batman (Rebirth). Notable for introducing the Phantasm into DC Comics proper after nearly 30 years.

  • Batman Ninja (2018) - A Japanese-made animated movie involving Batman getting transported into an alternate version of feudal Japan where Joker has reigned there and once again, Batman must stop him, helped with Sengoku period figures re-imagined or molded with characters from the franchise. Kōichi Yamadera is confirmed to voice Batman in this animated feature for the Japanese version, and in the English dub, Roger Craig Smith reprised his role from Batman: Arkham Origins.

  • The Further Adventures of Batman (1989) - a series of short stories told in Anthology form, and collected by Martin H. Greenberg.
  • Batman: The Ultimate Evil - a dark story, even for Batman. Batman takes on an international child pornography/prostitution ring. Somewhat controversial for having the death of Wayne's parents being an assassination of his mother by the same ring, a generation earlier.
  • Batman: Knightfall (1994) by Denny O'Neil. As it's name implies, it's a novelization of Knightfall, but also Knightquest and KnightsEnd. It also included some details about Batman's backstory which is written to mirror the continuity of the comics at the time.
  • Batman: Knightfall & Beyond (1994) by Alan Grant. Also an adaptation of Knightfall, but intended for a younger audience.
  • Batman: Murder at Wayne Manor - A construction crew locates a decayed corpse on the grounds of Wayne Manor, and all evidence points to her being a victim of Bruce's father...but is that what really happened? Marketed as "An Interactive Batman Mystery", the solution is sealed in the last few pages and left for the reader to deduce on their own first, and comes with lots of Feelies of the various bits of evidence that Batman finds.

    Live-Action TV 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Batman: Batman's film debut in 1943, a 15-chapter serial, served as the inspiration and cause of the 1960s show. It starred Lewis Wilson as Bruce Wayne / Batman, the first live action incarnation of the character.
    • Batman and Robin: The 1949 sequel 15-chapter serial. Robert Lowery replaced Lewis Wilson in the title role.
  • Batman: The Movie (1966): The Movie of the 60s TV show, starring Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler and Catwoman team up and threaten world peace with a dehydrator that can turn humans into dust. The Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder must stop them.
  • The Burton/Schumacher film series (1989-1997):
    • Batman - Directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton. Batman must stop former mobster Jack Napier, who fell into a vat of chemicals and became the Joker, terrorizing Gotham City with his deadly laughing gas.
    • Batman Returns - Tim Burton and Michael Keaton returned. Batman faces off against the Penguin and Catwoman.
    • Batman Forever - Directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Val Kilmer. The Riddler and Two-Face team up to discover who Batman really is. Batman teams up with circus orphan Dick "Robin" Grayson against them.
    • Batman & Robin - Directed by Joel Schumacher once again, and starring George Clooney. Mr. Freeze wants to plunge Gotham City into an eternal winter and teams up with Poison Ivy, and Batman and Robin set out to stop them. Batgirl joins the fray.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012): A complete reboot of the film continuity, which was a rare occurrence in Hollywood at the time. Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as Batman. Very much Adaptation Distillation.
    • Batman Begins: How Bruce Wayne became Batman and fought to save Gotham City from the League of Shadows.
    • The Dark Knight: The rise of the Joker, who brings Gotham on the edge of chaos.
    • The Dark Knight Rises: A broken Batman must rise again to save Gotham from an impending doom at the hands of Bane.
  • DC Extended Universe (2013-): Batman has been rebooted again, this time he is part of the cinematic Shared Universe launched by DC and Warner Bros. Ben Affleck donned the cape and cowl.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has Batman and Superman sharing the screen together for the first time in a motion picture. Having witnessed first-hand the potential of mass destruction of Superman, Batman sets out to kill him, not knowing both are manipulated by Lex Luthor.
    • Suicide Squad sees him appear in cameos, putting some bad guys behind bars for Amanda Waller to pick up for her Task Force X project and furthering his quest to gather the Justice League in The Stinger. Said baddies include some of his own Rogues Gallery such as Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Killer Croc. The Joker also appears, in a mission of his own to bring Harley home.
    • Justice League sees Batman gathering, leading and providing his tech to the eponymous Justice League for the first time on film to fight off the Apokoliptian New God Steppenwolf. Commissioner Gordon and his GCPD aide Crispus Allen also show up briefly.
    • Birds of Prey features some of Batman's Rogues Gallery, namely Harley Quinn, Black Mask and Victor Zsasz. The latter has been made an enemy of the eponymous Birds of Prey. That story is also the debut of both Cassandra Cain and Renee Montoya on film.
    • The Batman (tentative title), to be written and directed by Matt Reeves. Scheduled for release in 2021. To be played by Robert Pattinson. The film is strongly implied to be yet another reboot instead of being set in the DCEU.
  • Joker (2019): A Start of Darkness reinventing Batman's Arch-Enemy as a mentally ill protagonist who's Driven to Villainy in a decaying Gotham City, starring Joaquin Phoenix. A young Bruce Wayne appears, played by Dante Pereira-Olson.

  • Jan and Dean Meet Batman: At the height of their fame, the Surf Rock duo of Jan Berry and Dean Torrence approached National Periodical Publications (as DC was then known) about doing a licensed (i.e. copyright-compliant) album based both on the comic books and the TV show, which was also at the height of its popularity. NPP gave its blessing, and this strong contender for the title of "Weirdest Concept Album Ever" was born. Half the record is music inspired by the comic books and the show, including a cover of the latter's theme. The other half details the adventures of "Captain Jan & Dean the Boy Blunder," an Affectionate Parody both of The Silver Age of Comic Books — or, from their perspective, the current time — and also of the just-passed Golden Age of Radio. The cuts alternate between type, and the comedy pieces are as goofy as you'd expect; besides ribbing many of the tropes listed here, our heroes have abilities like Power Breath and "Instant Distance Mental Powers" that, when their intended destination is the Surf City Circus, land them in the Jersey City Surplus Store via a literal Wrong Turn at Albuquerque. However, the Bat-music cuts are played almost completely straight, or at least as straight as the era allowed; some lyrics are taken directly from Detective Comics #27.

  • As That Other Wiki notes, two attempts at a U.S. series during the Golden Age of Radio never got off the ground, though the Dynamic Duo did make guest appearances on The Adventures of Superman, both in crossover stories and solo ones to give the regular star playing Superman, Bud Collyer, some time off. Decades later, award-winning producer Dirk Maggs created two acclaimed radio series for the BBC starring the Dark Knight. The first, The Lazarus Syndrome, is a completely original drama. The second, an adaptation of Knightfall, ran as short segments within the DJ show hosted by Mark Goodier. Both are noted for Michael Gough reprising his film role as Alfred.

  • An official licensed manga, called simply Batman, was published in Japan during 1960s Bat-mania. It was written and drawn by Jiro Kuwata, and was translated and published in the US partially in 2008 and completely from 2014 on.
  • Batman Child Of Dreams by Kia Asamiya of Silent Möbius fame.
  • Batman Death Mask
  • Batman and the Justice League, a monthly manga series made as a collaboration between DC Comics, publisher Akita Shoten, and artist Shiori Teshirogi. It is serialized in Champion RED magazine, and made to hype up the release of the then-upcoming Justice League (2017) movie in Japan.


    Tabletop Games 

  • Batman The Musical. No, really. It never made it onstage, but you can still read about What Might Have Been here and listen to the demo recordings.
  • Batman Live: a big-budget arena show that premiered in the UK July '11 and toured Europe and North America. It focuses on the relationship between Batman and Robin, and is a fusion between theatre, circus, and hand-drawn animation.
  • Holy Musical B@man!: a musical parody by Team StarKid, performed during March 2012 and made available online on April 13th.

    Theme Parks 
  • The Six Flags chain features Batman-themed rides in at least nine of its parks as of 2019; the ones in Texas, Georgia and Maryland have full "Gotham City" sections.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Gotham Girls
  • How It Should Have Ended. Batman is a recurring character in that web series, appearing at the Super-Café alongside Superman in practically every comic book film-related episode, plus dedicated Super Café and Villain pub shorts.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 

Various parts of the franchise have provided the name for:

Tropes among all versions:

  • Aborted Arc: From 1995-98, writer Doug Moench and artist Kelley Jones were in charge of the main Batman title. During their first three years on the title, a nameless puppeteer holding a Batman puppet appeared in the background of many stories. He would be there when Batman was solving a case or when he was throwing a party as Bruce Wayne, but he never let his presence be known. The idea was that in the fourth year of their run, which they knew would be their last, they would properly introduce the character as a villain who knew Bruce's identity, was capable of manipulating both Bruce and Batman and has been preparing to confront Bats on his own terms, but this was never followed through. Jones later explained in interviews that editorial demanded that in their last year they tied the book in with the other Bat-titles, which they had been pretty much allowed to ignore in favor of telling their own self-contained stories. This threw a wrench on the Puppeteer arc and some other stories they were planning, including one with Poison Ivy.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Harley Quinn had no super powers in the original animated series, but with her immigration to the comics, she got some powers from her new friend Poison Ivy.
  • Adaptational Wealth: As Movie Bob put it...
    In the early Batman comics, Bruce Wayne was only pretty damn rich. Old money, didn't have a day job, you get the idea. But by now, he's so wrapped up in the daily affairs of the DC Universe that he routinely hangs out with aliens and gods, fighting apocalyptic wars, monitoring the globe with satellites, building space stations and paying for most of it himself because he's freakin' Scrooge McDuck levels of rich.
  • 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.
  • Aesop Collateral Damage: As said above, in War Games, Leslie Thompkins (a pacifist who took an oath to do no harm to others) purposefully let Stephanie die just to prove her point about the dangers of kids fighting crime.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Ra's Al Ghul.
    • The Penguin comes across as this most of the time, as the owner of a popular upscale night spot, but he can go from a gentleman criminal to a vicious bastard if he needs to.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: Batman's first sidekick and later successor Dick Grayson was retconned to be part Roma. And after Batman's supposed demise, his longest-running title was given to the Jewish lesbian Batwoman. Also, The Dark Knight Returns featured a female Robin.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: It's not so much that Bats is a bad guy, but compared to a lot of the other team members within his various groups, his dark, brooding act stirs up the loins of many a female, both superpowered and non.
  • Almighty Mom: Alfred is the quintessential male example.
  • Alternate Universe: Earth-Two, where Batman married Catwoman and had a daughter, the Huntress.
  • 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.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Aside from accusations on all sides, The Joker sometimes delivers Ho Yay, depending on the writer. After a while, some writers decided to incorporate that aspect of the character into their stories to create ambiguity on purpose.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: A number of writers have wondered whether Batman is Jewish. Some continuities make Kate Kane, the current Batwoman, Bruce's first cousin and since she's Jewish, that would mean Bruce's mother Martha Kane was Jewish, and since Jewish ethnicity is matrilineal, that would make Bruce Jewish. Of course across the media, Bruce has never identified as Jewish (or for that matter by any ethnic identity for that matter). Both of Batman's creators, Bob Kane and Bill Finger were Jewish incidentally but Bill Finger was explicit about the fact that he saw Bruce Wayne as a WASP and that he wanted him to have a Patrician identity.
  • Amnesiac Costume Identity: One comic starts with Batman waking up, only remembering who he is on seeing his outfit. He tries to stop a crime and is quickly beaten down. Then the real Batman shows up, explaining that the man we've been following since the beginning is an ordinary citizen (who likes to get kinky in the bedroom). He and his wife were roleplaying a Rescue Romance scenario when the man hit his head, resulting in the comic's events. Batman leaves, but asks that they stick to Superman outfits from then on.
  • Animal Lover: Even though Robin's son Damian is an anti-hero who struggles to avoid maiming and killing his foes, he has a soft spot for animals. He's become a vegetarian, gone on tirades against people who kill animals for profit, and adopted, over time, a cat, dog, cow, dragon-bat, and Japanese dragon. He also beat up a king and his entire court for kidnapping Goliath (said dragon-bat).
  • An Asskicking Christmas/Twisted Christmas: Christmas is never a happy time for Batman. Not only is it an emotional time for him since the loss of his parents, but his enemies LOVE the irony of stirring up crap on what's supposed to be the happiest holiday of the year. The Joker, Mister Freeze and the Calendar Man, in particular, have stirring up crap during Christmas practically as a tradition (though at least Calendar Man is partially justified in this, given his particular obsession/MO). Batman's had at least one Christmas story in pretty much all media he's been featured in. This is so common for Batman that the aversion of these tropes is its own trope that he named!
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Bruce, his sidekicks, and many of his enemies are animal based, albeit none of them have animal powers at all and the outfit is largely an aesthetic and metaphorical concept based on social connotations. For instance, Batman doesn't have echolocation powers and it refers to him being nocturnal and his cape-and cowl silhouette looking like a giant bat when he goes Roofhopping. While Selina Kyle is shown to have an affinity with cats in later stories, originally it was a reference to her being a cat burglar, which was a poetic concept (stealthy like a cat) and not a literal one (since cats don't steal), while Robin's red tunic has a resemblance to the red-breasted American Robin, his name was a Shout-Out by his co-creator Bill Finger to Robin Hood. Likewise, Penguin is so-called for wearing the Penguin-suit. It wasn't until much later in fact, in 1970, with Man-Bat that you had an actual animal themed superbeing in the Batman mythos.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: When Azrael took over as Batman during the Dark Age.
  • Anti-Villain: Lots. Most of Batman's Rogues Gallery are some shade of antivillain; turning to crime as a result of some past trauma is very common. There are also a fair number of real villains.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Joker is quite possibly the most famous example in the medium. There are some other guys who qualify as Batman's Arch-Enemy, who are as much dangerous, just not as much popular: Bane, Rā's al Ghūl, The Penguin, Two-Face, The Riddler, Hugo Strange, Owlman, Brother Eye and, in more metaphorical sense, Bruce Wayne's own humanity.
  • Arkham's Razor: Not related to Arkham Asylum, but Riddler's riddles work this way. The obvious interpretation of his Riddles is almost never the answer. For a relatively grounded example, his first-ever crime used the clue "banquet," sending Batman and the police to a charity dinner. The real, and much less conventional meaning of the clue was that the Riddler had flooded a bank vault — gotten a "bank wet" — to defeat its pressure-sensitive locking mechanism and was looting it in scuba gear.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Tim Drake tells Bruce that Batman has to have a Robin:
    Bruce: Where is that written in stone? There's no more need for there to be a Robin...
    Alfred: ... than there is for a Batman?
  • Artistic License – Biology: After getting a nasty cut during the "Cataclysm" storyline, Batman's internal monologue states that his belt has "anticoagulants to stem the bleeding." An anticoagulant actually makes blood thinner, and thus would make a cut bleed worse.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • The Joker.
    • Firefly is also notorious for this kind of behavior, enough so that he actually managed to frighten Killer Moth and caused him to dissolve their partnership once he realized just how deranged he was.
  • Badass Creed: In The Button, it's revealed that while exploring caverns that would later become the Batcave, Thomas told Bruce the Wayne motto, which subconsciously had a tremendous effect on Bruce's personality.
    Thomas Wayne: Sometimes we fall, son. But always remember, Waynes never stay down. We rise.
  • Badass in Distress: Currently the trope picture.
  • Badass Normal: One of the most emblematic examples of this trope in media. Whereas the rest of the DC Justice League has all sorts of amazing superpowers and while the villains he faces regularly have powers themselves, Batman relies on no more than gadgets, vehicles and extremely sharp judgement.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Gotham City Police Department, in most new-millennium portrayals. Except for Gordon. Eventually got its own comic series, Gotham Central, about the few honest cops in the city who have to deal with working in the second most corrupt department in the country.
    • It often seems like a woefully understaffed Police Department. Chicago, one of the basis cities for Gotham, has nearly 15,000 officers. The most we ever see on one page at one time is about twenty for Gotham, no matter how big the crisis (until The Dark Knight Rises, where they move out of this trope and into Red Shirt).
  • Bandaged Face: At least one the villains is bound to have this happen to them at some point. Hush in particular is known for this.
  • 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.
  • Bat Family Crossover
  • Batman Cold Open: Batman does this all the time, hence the Trope Namer.
    • Batman #608 (the first part of the "Hush" arc) has a particularly cool version, depicting Batman (with Crazy-Prepared Badass Normal stats turned Up to Eleven) sneaking around a shipyard and taking down four of Killer Croc's thugs in rapid succession to save a small boy who happens to be heir to an enormous fortune.
  • Batman Gambit: The Trope Namer
  • Bat Scare: Generally associated with Batman, and clouds of bats often appear when he enters the Batcave. On at least a few occasions he has weaponised this, using bat-influencing ultrasound to set up a Bat Scare which distracts an opponent.
  • Bat Signal: The 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.
  • Bedlam House: Arkham is one of the most famous in fiction.
  • Berserk Button: Anyone getting killed, whether by any fault of his own or someone else's. Bats is not good with death, for obvious reasons. If you've killed someone within his vicinity, he may not kill you, but you may wish he had.
  • "Best Of" Anthology: The Best Of Batman is a 13-episode DVD anthology, where the episodes are drawn from multiple Batman cartoons, all of which were known to be fan favourites.
  • Best Served Cold: One of the classic examples.
  • 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: Batman and his extended family make a regular habit of this trope.
  • Big Good: Despite being curmudgeonly, brooding and feared by almost everyone, he, Superman and Wonder Woman tend to share this role in the larger DC Universe.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Batman canonically has five children: Dick, Jason, Tim, Cassandra, and Damian. He, Dick, Jason, and Tim are all orphans. Cassandra and Damian have alive parents but both are tyke bombs raised by a cult of assassins. Cassandra couldn't talk or read until she was in her mid-teens. Pretty much all of them have died at one point or another. That's just the immediate family too! Other members of the extended clan like Barbara got shot in the spine to torture her dad, Stephanie Brown had a Teenage Pregnancy and a second rate supervillain dad. She also died (later retconned into being put into hiding) solely because Leslie Thompkins wanted to teach Bruce a lesson. Catwoman's background has pinged all over the place but usually she's a Street Urchin orphan who had to steal from a very young age to provide for herself and her sister, Maggie. They're all waifs, misfits and strays that would belong nowhere if not together.
  • Black and White Morality / Black and Grey Morality: Tends to depend on the tone of the particular story, with the lighthearted ones being the former and the Darker and Edgier ones being the latter.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Batman often disarms gun-toting foes with a well-aimed batarang.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: With Batman: Reborn and Gotham City Sirens, as well as Blackest Night, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy take on this trope respectively.
    • The three Batgirls: Stephanie, Cassandra and Barbara respectively.
  • Blood Bath:
    • Garth Ennis once wrote a comic where the villain was a drug lord who got people hooked on a drug so he could kill them, fill a pool with their drugged-up blood, and get high by bathing in it.
    • In Batman: The Cult, Deacon Blackfire bathed in blood, supposedly to make himself immortal.
  • Blue Means Cold: Mr. Freeze wears a refrigerated suit which is generally portrayed as blue but it varies a bit depending on the adaptation. Occasionally, his skin is also depicted as having a blue tint.
  • Bored with Insanity: The Joker several times.
  • 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.
  • Breeding Slave: In one storyline in Tales of the Dark Knight, Batman, who had just started working as a vigilante, actually enjoys what he does until he meets the Monster of the Week—the son of a Nazi female scientist who looks down on him but grows somewhat fond of Batman, trying to get him to have a child with her. Partially through her son's help, Batman manages to escape and swears to never think of what he does as 'fun' ever again.
  • Breakout Villain: The Joker is a big one. Originally he was supposed to be killed in his second appearance back in 1940. Fast-forward 70 years later and he's the most famous villain in all of comics.
    • A cross-media example is The Riddler. Prior to the 1966 TV show, Edward Nygma had made only three appearances including his 1948 debut. Thanks largely to his delightfully demented portrayal by Frank Gorshin, he is now one of Batman's arch-nemeses, second only to the aforementioned Clown Prince of Crime and, perhaps, Oswald Cobblepot.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Some members of the rogues gallery (Such a the Joker and the Riddler) tend to wear bright and colorful oufits, in contrast with Batman's dark costume.
  • 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 chestpiece.
  • Cape Swish: Especially in the 1960s TV series.
  • Cardboard Prison: Arkham Asylum is a cardboard — actually more like tissue paper — Bedlam House; Blackgate, preceded by Gotham State Penitentiary, is this for those few (see below) of the Rogues Gallery who aren't full-blown psychotic, or at least who aren't currently presenting as such.
  • Cast Full of Crazy: Virtually all of Batman's rogues gallery are portrayed as mentally ill in some way or other; and the man himself has varying emotional disturbances (mainly stemming from the murder of his parents) Depending on the Writer. In some versions, the entire legally sane and reasonably emotionally stable population of the Bat-Universe, friend and foe alike, can be numbered in single digits — see Gotham.
  • Catchphrase: At least once every continuity, expect situations set up to dramatically deliver the line "I'M BATMAN!"
  • Character in the Logo: Various iterations of the Batman logo have his name in front of a bat-shaped symbol with his head on top of it.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • The first appearances of Batman are notorious for him lacking a code against killing, although even then killing wasn't routine. For example, in his very first story, The Case of the Chemical Syndicate, he punches the villain into a vat of Hollywood Acid, and shows no remorse for it. In the Post-Crisis version of the event, the crook tries to flee, as he cannot stand the shame of being sent to prison, and falls into the acid by accident.
    • In an even more shocking case of questionable morality, Catwoman's first appearance ends with Batman deliberately letting her escape purely because he thinks that she's hot, and joking with Robin about it. Note that Catwoman, also contrary to her later character development, had casually murdered a guy for getting in her way during the story.
    • The Joker's first Golden Age appearance had him not as a comedy obsessed Evil Laugh happy nut job that people are likely to see and assorted later comics and adaptations depict him as (such as, Batman: The Animated Series), but rather as a fairly straight forward killer and thief (with a slight jewel obsession) who associated with the titular playing card because it resembled him, not the other way round. He also didn't do a noticeable Evil Laugh until his third-last panel in his debut issue, where (true to form) he thinks he's about to die.
    • Two-Face initially appeared in a three issue arc where Harvey Kent was driven mad by his scarring and used a coin toss to determine whether he acted heroically or villainously. At the end of the story he was reformed and disappeared for the rest of the Golden Age. He was brought back in the 50s as Harvey Dent and instead of being equally villainous and heroic he was a gangster who was obsessed with the number "2," with the coin playing a lesser role in his crimes.
    • Jason Todd was initially a Dick Grayson clone whose parents were circus trapeze artists killed by Killer Croc. He was also a natural redhead who dyed his hair black so nobody would realize there was a new Robin. Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, he was retooled into his better-known modern incarnation as a (naturally brunet) street kid. (Although some of the writers for the non-main line books didn't get the memo for a while, leading to some inconsistent depictions.)
  • Charity Ball: Bruce Wayne, being a wealthy playboy, attends a lot of these. Sometimes they even go off as planned.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: See that page for more info
  • The Chessmaster:
    • The Riddler. See "Hush" for details.
    • Batman himself is a heroic version of this trope due to being a brilliant tactician and superb analytical skills.
  • Chest Insignia: In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, he reveals that most of his armor is bulletproof, but he wears a chest insignia because he couldn't make his mask and cowl protective enough (in most versions, he leaves his mouth and chin uncovered). "Why do you think I wear a target on my chest?"
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: Tim Drake/Robin, after losing nearly all of his biological family, sets up an actor to pretend to be his fake uncle so that he doesn't have to go into the foster care system. Batman, being Batman, naturally finds out, and Robin assumes he's about to be reamed out for going behind Bruce's back... but all Bruce can say is that he's so proud of Tim for taking the initiative, and gives him some tips on how to make the deception foolproof.
  • Chick Magnet: Lucky man. Some members of the Batfamily such as Nightwing is also one in his various incarnations, this extends to even Catwoman herself just like Batman.
  • Chronic Villainy: Gotham's recidivism rate is proportional to the popularity of his Rogues Gallery, so it's about 100%.
  • The City Narrows: It would be pretty hard to do the origin story without that one dark alley that you really shouldn't go into. Similarly, City Noir. In Gotham, the absolute worst neighborhood is literally named "The Narrows." Gotham City is a nice place to live.
  • Clark Kenting: Many heroes throughout the franchise have a rather easy time hiding their secret identities. Especially notable in live-action series.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Catwoman more often than not.
  • 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.
  • Coins for the Dead: In a comic from the 80s, a serial killer is murdering Gotham's homeless by giving them two gold coins coated in poison. When they die, he then places the coins on their eyes.
  • Combat Parkour: Batman makes use of this. Especially in a confined space surrounded by thugs, at which time he is forced to twist, pounce, and perform somersaults and back handsprings to narrowly dodge attacks coming from multiple directions. Then once out of danger he makes a few attacks of his own to defeat them.
  • The Comically Serious:
    • Because nothing's more hilarious than Batman singing karaoke, while still completely straight-faced. Though in the rare instance where he cracks a joke, it's all the funnier because of it.
    • In Superman/Batman #44, Superman has been hit in the eye with a shard of Kryptonite and has to wear an eyepatch until it heals.
      Superman: I have a strange favor to ask you.
      Batman: No, Clark. You can't borrow my pirate ship.
    • Averted in the Golden Age stories, where Batman loves to joke and make wisecracks as he's roughing up the bad guys. He's as bad as Robin.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: The Trope Namer
  • Continuity Nod: Crossing over with Mythology Gag, when Batwoman resurfaces in 2006, her suit borrows very heavily from the one made famous in Batman Beyond, especially in regards to the Bat Symbol she uses.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: Batman needs a Robin to act as his sidekick and Morality Pet. However, every official Robin is different from the last one.
    • Dick Grayson's loving parents were murdered and he was taken under Bruce's wing out of sympathy. His tenure of Robin established the role as a lovable, wise-cracking sidekick and foil to Batman. Despite his guardian's anti-social tendencies, Dick is arguably one of the most beloved and sociable characters in the DC universe next to Superman and is a natural-born leader because of this.
    • Jason Todd grew up on the streets with a dad who walked out on him and a drug addict for a mother. He was adopted by Bruce after he caught Jason stealing the tires off the Batmobile. His personality was coarser and was betrayed by his own mother to the Joker. Depending on the Writer, Bruce didn't like or tolerate Jason as much compared to Dick. After his resurrection, Jason becomes the Red Hood, a dark and gritty Anti-Hero willing to cross lines Batman won't.
    • Tim Drake was born into an upper-middle-class family with a neglectful father who wanted a Jerk Jock for a son. Instead of Batman stumbling upon him by accident, Tim sought him out and offered to become Robin after seeing the turmoil Batman went through in the wake of Jason's death. Initially depicted as a chipper and talented teenager, he slowly becomes grimmer and more brooding after a number of tragedies in his life.
    • Damian Wayne is Bruce's biological son with Talia al Ghul. He's an Insufferable Genius who is already a master of hand-to-hand combat and trained in every skill one could expect a Robin to have. But his brutal upbringing under the League of Assassins made him indifferent to murder, which makes him come to blows with his father and adopted brothers. In time, he grows to appreciate his role as Robin and steps away from his murderous past, making him a much kinder and more empathetic young man, even if he retains his penchant for Brutal Honesty and snark.
  • Cool Car: Practically the Trope Codifier. From WAY back in the day, few modes of transportation have been considered awesome as universally as the Batmobile.
  • Cool Garage: The Batcave has many functions depending on the time and continuity, but it's always one of these.
  • Cool Plane: The Batwing. Same deal as the Batmobile, cool since before it became a thing.
  • Cop Killer: Wrath, an Evil Counterpart of Bats, specializes in killing law enforcement officials.
  • Cops Need the Vigilante: Comic books play this every which way, but Batman is perhaps the worst offender. He is, and always has been, more or less a de facto agent of the Gotham PD. That they have the Bat-Signal up on the roof confirms that. Therefore pretty much everything he does is entirely illegal, as it contravenes all the rules of evidence gathering, chain of custody, interrogation, etc. Some recent series have gotten more sophisticated, going so far as to actually get this right (Batman is an agent of the police and therefore this is inadmissible, or Batman is entirely unconfirmed and you can't prove there's any contact making this very murky but admissible, for example), though some have gotten it wrong while trying to be clever (no, bringing in a bureaucrat whose only job is to turn on the Bat-Signal doesn't make it okay because the bureaucrat is acting as an agent of the police which makes Batman an agent of the police). Learn more here.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Bruce's Starter Villain, Alfred Stryker, was a businessman willing to murder his partners to take full control of the company.
  • Corrupt Politician: Aversions are easier to find.
  • Costume Evolution: Most characters have had outfit changes over the years. Batman himself started with a cape that was shaped like bat wings, before it changed to a cape with a jagged hem.
  • The Cowl: Trope Codifier.
  • Crapsack World: Gotham City is one of the best and most famous examples in all of comics.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Batman plus the Bat-family count so many examples of the trope they have their own subpage.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Villain Mr. Zsasz marks a notch in his skin every time he murders someone. He has scars all over his body.
  • Crimefighting with Cash
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Bruce Wayne's childhood friend Thomas Elliot (a.k.a. Hush) got facial reconstruction surgery to look more like Bruce so that he can impersonate him and more easily get away with sapping Bruce's wealth.
  • Criminal Mind Games: The Riddler's MO.
  • Darker and Edgier: After many years of campiness, in the 70s and 80s Batman started getting dark and gritty again and his villains became much more brutal and sadistic (or returned to form in the case of The Joker). Batman is currently one of the grittiest heroes you'll 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: And ironically, most of his rogues (particularly the Joker) are very colorful.
  • Dating Catwoman: Trope Codifier.
    • On-again and off-again with Selina Kyle, both before and after he learned her true identity. Some say the only woman he has ever loved.
    • He has a similar relationship with Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Arch-Enemy Ra's al Ghul - they even had a child together (though Bruce was drugged during the actual act), the fifth Robin Damian Wayne.
    • Bruce tends to be attracted to women on the wrong side of the law more often than not. Gotham City Sirens notes that the only two women that Batman has ever loved were Catwoman/Selina Kyle and Talia al Ghul, both members of his Rogues Gallery.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Alfred, especially when Frank Miller's writing him.
  • Death by Origin Story: Thomas and Martha Wayne, The Flying Graysons.
  • Depending on the Writer: As with most stories which have been told over decades, there is a lot of this. Examples that illustrate the range of interpretations include Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which presented Batman as a dangerously-obsessed, deeply-disturbed, paranoid control freak, as opposed to the stalwart Caped Crusader of Batman. This vast range is sometimes the basis for whole story arcs.
    • One example is his creation of the Brother Mk I satellite, which was created by Batman to keep an eye on all of the meta-humans, hero and villain alike.
    • Another story, "Tower of Babel", centers on Ra's Al Ghul obtaining a file containing Batman's contingency plans to cripple each and every member of the Justice League "just in case" and using them to his own ends. The existence of the files and the secrecy under which they are kept infuriates The League and lead to his expulsion.
    • This is hinted at in The Dark Knight.
      • Another issue of interpretation is whether he became a man the night his parents died, or if he never truly grew up.
    • Some versions of Poison Ivy gave her powers to grow and control plants with her mind. While other adaptations she had no superpowers (Unless you count being immune to all poisons), she was simply a massive eco-terrorist who loved plants more than any human.
  • Determinator: Bruce himself, of course, and to the point that it is the common familial trait of the entire Bat-family.
  • Deus ex Machina: Batman often solves situations by just happening to have a gadget on hand. Back when he killed people, Batman once confronted a Doctor Doom who threw a grenade at him. Batman then shields his and Robin's body with...this. It's not even a frickin' gadget!
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He tends to do this more often during crossover events.
  • Disney Villain Death: Starter Villain Alfred Stryker knocked into a vat of acid during his scuffle with Batman.
  • Distaff Counterpart: At least three still breathing (two girls and a woman).
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Even more than he despises killing.
  • Double Consciousness
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: His parents' death scene frequently has this.
  • The Dreaded: Both Batman and The Joker have been shown to terrify even those FAR more powerful than they will ever be.
    • And if not fear, (in the rare circumstances) at the very least respect, as given by Darkseid, who is basically the DC equivalent of the Devil
    • To put the Joker into perspective, he scares Superman.note 
  • Dumb Muscle: Killer Croc, Amygdala and Clayface at times.
    • Averted with Bane, who has the mind of a criminal mastermind as well as the colossal strength to back it up, but played annoyingly straight in several adaptations. Though completely averted with The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Eagle-Eye Detection: One of the many skills employed by the Bat-family.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the first two or three comics (and only those), Batman was not only perfectly willing to use firearms, he even directly killed his enemies. This bit of bat-history is so infamous, that it even provides the page image for this trope!
    • His tech was also much more simplistic early on—the original Batmobile was just a simple red convertible.
    • His series was initially set in it's own distinct continuity, with no existence of other superheroes prior to retcons—an issue of Batman from the 40s, for instance, had Dick Grayson get an autograph from Jerry Siegel, identified by name and explicitly noted as "the creator of Superman".
    • In the Joker's first appearance, he was a far cry from the loony sociopath he's known as now—he was a straight faced crook with a gimmick, and Batman was the one cracking the puns while fighting him! Notably, he was supposed to be killed off for good in his second appearance, but he ended up becoming so popular, he immediately became a series mainstay, which soon established another trope in the process.
    • The Scarecrow was originally a standard hoodlum-for-hire (albeit one who used to be a college professor) who terrorized his victims the old-fashioned way: with guns and death threats (in this era, fear gas was actually the gimmick of the now-comparatively obscure Hugo Strange). He also managed to hold his own against Batman and Robin physically, at least for a little while.
      • Fittingly, in The Batman Hugo Strange is basically the show's fill-in for Scarecrow, as he used the same fear tactics and psychological intimidation. One episode even had him make Batman hallucinate into thinking a Zombie Apocalypse had started, when in fact, the "cure" he tried to trick Batman into using, was actually the real Zombie virus.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: So elaborate that it indirectly caused the end of the 1966 series. After ABC cancelled it, NBC was ready to pick it up — but the Batcave had already been torn down, and NBC judged the expense of rebuilding it would outweigh the potential profit.
  • Eldritch Location: Arkham Asylum frequently has shades of this, particularly in series dwelling upon its inmates and staff, or its history.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: Clayface is a walking mountain of mud, and can use his powers for shapeshifting or brute strength. He's one of the few recurring villains Batman admits to being no physical match for.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: Whether it's Batman, or other characters.
  • Epic Hail: The Bat Signal: the most badass searchlight in existence.
  • Everybody Smokes: Despite the fact that Golden Age Bruce Wayne is well known to smoke a Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe (and the occasional cigarette), he actually only smokes for a relatively short period of time, from his debut in Detective Comics #27 to the final regular appearance of the pipe in Detective Comics #51, two years later. The pipe makes an occasional appearance in a panel or two in Detective Comics #74 and in Batman #36, but Bruce never smokes regularly after those first two years of publication.
  • Evil Counterpart: Quite a few.
    • For starters, there's Prometheus (although he's more of a JLA-specific villain than a Batman villain) and Black Mask (or Roman Sionis) who has a similar back story to Bruce (son of wealthy parents who died by unnatural causes, although in Roman's case his parents were Rich Bitches who were killed by Roman himself, and Roman ran his company into the ground with his own carelessness).
    • One of the origins of Catman tried to build him up as an evil mirror counterpart who was inspired by the death of his parents to become a supervillain complete with Catmobile and the like. The idea got dropped quickly.
    • Hush is a much more recent example, especially when you get into his backstory and how intricately entwined it is with Batman's.
    • Killer Moth (of all people) was originally presented as an Evil Counterpart. His MO was that he was an anti-vigilante; he showed up to rescue criminals. He even had a Moth Signal criminals could use to summon him!
    • Then there is Bane, whom Chuck Dixon created from the idea of a "dark mirror" for Bruce Wayne. They both lost their parents at an early age, but instead of affectionate guardian raising him in comfortable wealth, Bane grew up in possibly the worst prison on earth. Nevertheless, he honed his intellect and body until he could escape and then return for payback. He's Bruce Wayne Gone Horribly Wrong.
    • An obscure character called The Wrath is gloriously over the top in how closely his backstory mirrors Batman's. His parents were career criminals who were gunned down by the police in front of him the same day as Bruce Wayne's parents were killed. Thus, the Wrath dedicated his life to fighting law and order. Even his costume is almost just a Palette Swap of Batman's.
    • Deadshot is another, an idle rich boy who moonlighted as a vigilante before turning villain, and also had a retconned family tragedy as his motivation. More gun-focused than the above examples. He's moved further away from this than his friends Bane and Catman, and is sometimes used as an Anti-Green Arrow these days.
    • Kobra was originally conceived as this as well, being fabulously wealthy and having his own international team of associates loyal to him, in much the same way as Batman's own teammates were to him. Kobra was so much so this that one edition of the DC Heroes RPG had his stats identical to Batman's.
    • Deathstroke is occasionally implied to be this, given immense training and discipline, and is one of the few low-powered supervillains who's single-handedly defeated the Justice League in combat, in much the same way Batman is often implied to be capable.
    • Man-Bat was a literal take on this, working off the in-universe assumption many people have that Batman is some sort of supernatural monster. Kurt Langstrom is a dedicated scientist, almost fanatically driven to his work, just like Bruce, but is an occasional ally to Batman, too.
    • Ra's al-Ghul has elements of this, most notably in his desire to save the world even at cost to himself, his reluctance to work with others as an equal, and his personal skill. Notably, both Ra's and Batman respect each other enough to work together occasionally, and sometimes Batman is even implied to sympathize with Ra's views, if not his methods.
    • Black Mask was originally like this, a rich kid turned villain due to a personal tragedy, but the characterization is largely eclipsed by the later mob boss take on him.
    • Azrael as Az Bats was an intended subversion of this trope. While capable physically, Azrael was nowhere near Batman's match mentally or psychologically, and quickly degenerated.
    • While not to Black-and-white counterpart standards, Dark Age Of Comics and later retellings posit that most of Batman's rogues gallery reflect a part of Batman's characterization.
  • Evil Cripple: Averted in one Golden Age story. A villain named Clubfoot with a clubfoot (obvously) and a Hook Hand is killing members of the Storme family. It turns out that the actual family member who has the club foot is innocent and being framed by the family lawyer, who was Obfuscating Disability.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: The Joker is either this trope or Actually Pretty Funny Depending on the Writer, such as in The Killing Joke.
  • Evolutionary Retcon: Batman started as the tights-clad caped crusader, following the model of certain athletic garb of the day — particularly acrobatic performers such as circus aerialists and tightrope walkers and strength-based athletes like wrestlers and circus strongmen. Starting with The '90s, artists and writers have experimented with making his costume more plausible and sensible given the beatings that Batman takes in the course of his adventures. This evolution ultimately resulted in realizing Batman's outfit as a heavily armored, high tech suit that employs military issue polymers created by Wayne-Tech. Even the cape is now actually functional and allows limited gliding.
  • Exalted Torturer: Since so-much of the story has Batman's no-kill rule mined for drama, this has obscured the fact that a good deal of what Batman does, such as intimidating, scaring, and often times physically beating them up in order to get information flirts with torture and Police Brutality. His actions during the Tower of Babel story where he created countermeasures in-case the League went rogue had him analyzing his team-maters in such a way so that he could devise traps that tortured them in ways tailored to their superpowers.
  • Excuse Me, Coming Through!: He is carrying a live bomb after all, you would've run screaming too, admit it.
  • Expy: Batman himself started out as this of several characters: the secret identity and basic costume of Zorro, the fear factor and night-orientation of The Shadow, the supreme training and physical/mental abilities of Doc Savage, and of course the detective abilities of Sherlock Holmes. Fortunately, he evolved into his own unique character.
    • Kirk "Man-Bat" Langstrom 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.
    • During the aftermath of Knightfall while Azrael is filling in for Bruce as Batman, Jean-Paul's 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 Jean-Paul makes himself gauntlets with metal claws.
  • Face Car: The Batmobile sometimes has his masked face on it.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In "The Joker Walks the Last Mile", after turning himself in, confessing to a long list of crimes and getting the death sentence, the Joker walks to his execution, confident that he will make a fresh start once he pays the ultimate penalty with his life, and once his mooks follow through on his plan and bring him Back from the Dead.
  • Face Your Fears: Whenever Scarecrow manages to get Batman with his Fear Gas, expect this to occur.
  • Family Extermination: Batman’s parents were murdered by a criminal; Depending on the Writer, this is either an example of this — i.e deliberate targeting of the Waynes — or just a tragedy of them being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way, unfortunately for the (DC) underworld, there was a Sole Survivor.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Clayface is the best example in Batman lore. Everything he does: the morphing, the voice, that thing he does where he morphs his features back-to-front rather than turn around. the big kicker is the times he absorbed people inside him to kill them, which he once temporarily did to Wonder Woman.
    • And then there's the Clayface whose main power was to melt people he touched into bubbling puddles of protoplasmic muck, which is described as horrifically painful even though it's extremely fast.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: As per Bill Finger:
    "Originally I was going to call Gotham City 'Civic City.' Then I tried 'Capital City,'...Then I flipped through the New York City phone book and spotted the name 'Gotham Jewelers' and said, 'That's it,' Gotham City. We didn't call it New York because we wanted anybody in any city to identify with it."
    'Gotham is Manhattan below Fourteenth Street at 3 a.m., November 28 in a cold year. Metropolis is Manhattan between Fourteenth and One Hundred and Tenth Streets on the brightest, sunniest July day of the year.''
    • In general, Gotham is a New York City where The Great Depression and The Big Rotten Apple era never ended, nor has the city been gentrified, which gives the setting an advantage over the Marvel Universe which on account of being set in a real city has much of its original verisimilitude and characterization become The Artifactnote . Much of the city still has violent crime, corrupt police, slums and poor neighborhoods and banana republic level corruption of civil institutions that's analogous to the fake cities of Grand Theft Auto, and has more in common with third world major cities. For instance the story arc of Batman: No Man's Land, repurposed in the Batman: Arkham Series, The Dark Knight Rises and the final season of Gotham, is closer to the Kowloon Walled City than anything in America.
    • Film and TV adaptations generally make a much more stylized city, such as Tim Burton's films with its hellish gothic architecture as opposed Joel Schumacher's neon-vegas approach. In the DCAU, Gotham is made into a melange of areas, looking like The Remnant of The '40s Film Noir era in Batman: TAS but looking more modern, sleek and stylized in TNBA, with Batman Beyond looking like a Blade Runner kind of city, with Hong Kong and Tokyo influences. Christopher Nolan's films made the city an amalgam of Chicago, Detroit, and New York.
    • For Gotham, a 2014 ''Guardian'' article states the approach was a combination of the above; shot mostly in NYC which occasionally had to be made worse for the production, with a skyline that's "a composite of photographs of buildings from various cities that were carefully chosen for their Gotham-like feeling, and then manipulated digitally to bring the Gotham look to it that we wanted."
  • Fat Bastard: Starter Villain Alfred Stryker was an overweight man willing to kill to take control of a company.
  • Felony Murder: One telling of Batman's origin has this law be the explanation for why Batman is a vigilante and not a badged police officer. One of Bruce Wayne's law professors poses a hypothetical situation where two teenagers steal a car for a joyride and end up hitting and killing a pedestrian. When Bruce states that only the driver should be held responsible for the death, the professor corrects him that both teens are responsible because they both participated in the felony that killed the victim. Bruce finds this shockingly unjust, leading him to decide to work outside the law.
  • The Fettered: Bruce, of course, but in some interpretations Jim Gordon too.
  • Fiction 500: The most famous example in the DC Universe.
  • File Mixup: In the old story "Robin Studies His Lessons", Dick Grayson is kept off duty because he's been getting bad grades. However, then Dick catches some crooks, using scientific knowledge that seems awfully strange given he's supposed to have gotten lousy grades in that class. Bruce checks it and the administrators apologize for confusing Dick's grades with those of another boy.
  • Finger in the Mail: The maniacal doctor Hush from turns this around by sending Batman the entirety of Catwoman... minus her heart. She gets better.
  • Flying Firepower: The villain Firefly is this, possessing a jetpack and an arsenal of incendiary weapons.
  • For Want of a Nail: There's an Elseworlds story that explores what'd happen if Joe Chill didn't kill Batman's parents. Apparently Bruce wouldn't have become Batman, Gotham would've become less of a CrapsackWorld, and he and Jack Napier would've become Heterosexual Life-Partners.
  • Found the Killer, Lost the Murderer: The Pre-Crisis Batman, long after he finally tracked down the murderer of his parents, Joe Chill, discovered that Chill was actually an assassin hired by the mobster Lew Moxon who wanted revenge on Thomas Wayne for getting him arrested. Batman reopened the case to hunt his parents' true murderer down, a discovery that was especially galling considering Robin pointed out that by leaving him alive, Bruce was manipulated to be Moxon's alibi since a 10 year old could not be expected to know that a simple stick-up gone murderous was more than it seemed.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: The Joker occasionally, but especially in non-canon story lines and Emperor Joker.
  • Freeze Ray: Take a guess.
  • Friend of Masked Self: Bruce Wayne often claims to have a cordial relationship with Batman to explain why the Caped Crusader shows up to his rescue so often. Since the Morrison run, Bruce Wayne publicly funds Batman.
  • 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.
  • Frozen Face: Joker
  • Genius Bruiser: Bane, but Bats applies too.
  • The Gimmick: Saying "Batman's Rogues Gallery has plenty of examples of The Gimmick" is bit like saying "Water is wet".
  • Glamour: Poison Ivy is pheromonally irresistible.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: As noted on the trope page, Batman visits Two-Face at Arkham occasionally for a friendly game of chess.
  • Go-to Alias: Batman has either created or taken from a deceased criminal (depending on the continuity) the identity of small-time crook "Matches" Malone to infiltrate the underworld. Similarly, Alfred tends to use "Thaddeus Crane" (his middle names) whenever he has to go undercover.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Whenever Batman realizes he needs Superman or the Justice League, and not just the Bat-Family.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Favorite method of transportation when the Batwing or Batmobile aren't practical.
  • Green Thumb:
    • Pamela "Poison Ivy" Isley is one of the most famous examples of this trope. Her levels of deadliness vary across different adaptations. She has shown some capacity for good, also. When Gotham was in the midst of No Man's Land, Ivy killed Clayface and used her powers to grow fruits and vegetables for the stranded people to eat in a coordinated effort with Batman. Other times, she can at times be an eco-terrorist, ranging from destroying polluting industries to considering exterminating the human race so they'll knock off the polluting.
      • Otherwise, she gets her kicks by feeding people to giant pitcher plants and Venus Fly traps. Lady's in Arkham for a reason.
    • Also, her predecessor, Jason Woodrue, the Floronic Man.
  • Grenade Tag: Practically perfected the trope.
  • Guile Hero: Generally, the darker or more "realistic" the story, the more Batman embodies this.
  • Happily Married: The dearly departed Waynes.
  • Harmful to Minors: Seeing his parents gunned down in front of him as a child has clearly left a big mark on Bruce's psyche.
  • Heads or Tails?: The staple feature of Two-Face.
  • Heads, Tails, Edge: Also recurring constantly around Two-Face.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Cassandra Cain, Catwoman, Jean-Paul Valley (to an extent) and Bane.
  • Hero Harasses Helpers
  • Hide Your Lesbians: A curious case with Harley and Ivy, despite the various comics and shows having open gay relationships that are as blatant as any other, Harley and Ivy's relationship is still danced around. Word of God has stated their relationship is sexual, and there have been many moments that imply as much. But any question or statement that might confirm this is either deflected or cut short, making it practically a Running Gag.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: One of Batman's favorite methods for questioning mooks.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: Some versions of the story explore the idea of Gotham being too dependent on Batman.
    • Commissioner Gordon often has the worry of relying too much on Batman to patrol Gotham, and points it out in Batman: No Man's Land by claiming that he can't get himself hired anywhere because his reliance on an "urban legend" damages his credibility. Usually though, he has to admit that the corrupt and perpetually-underfunded police department couldn't handle Gotham's crime rate before, and probably couldn't now.
    • And, as Battle for the Cowl demonstrated, Gotham does indeed become a lawless warzone the moment Batman disappeared and only returns to something resembling normality (for Gotham) once Dick accepts that there must be Batman (and he's it).
    • This happened LONG before Battle for the Cowl. A large portion of the "Knight" arc (Knightfall/Knightquest/Knightsend), apart from being a Take That! at people who wanted a Darker and Edgier Batman, was to point out that a huge part of the problem in Gotham was mostly psychological in nature, and that Gotham needs Batman, even a fake one.
  • Hollywood Healing: Someone who's been through the physical injuries Batman has suffered should really show more signs of it.
  • 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 is the only person he trusts completely in more continuities than any other individual.
  • Hope Bringer: One constant running theme, no matter the writer, is that Batman serves as a symbol of hope to the good people of Gotham. Even the biggest Deconstruction stories and adaptations, like The Dark Knight Trilogy and the Batman: Arkham Series, consistently portray him in this regard.
  • Horrifying Hero: Batman by Tim Burton is the first one to truly invoke this trope: A flawless combination of Bob Ringwood's theatrical costume design, Michael Keaton's performance and the visceral musical score of Danny Elfman, Bruce Wayne becomes a mythical, demonic figure that struck such raw terror into the heart of evil that the average petty thug could only incoherently scream to the police: "I'm telling ya man: A Giant Bat!!!"
  • Horror Hunger: Killer Croc is frequently depicted as being a cannibal, while one of the multiple versions of Clayface to appear exclusively in the comics had a case of Body Horror where not only was it contagious, but the only way to keep it from killing him was to kill other people with it.
  • The Hyena: Joker is practically the Trope Maker in comics.
  • Hypocrite: In Batman Heart of Hush, Hush mocks Batman's crime-fighting career as a sign of his inability to move on from his past. This is pretty rich considering that his own vendetta against Bruce stems from a grudge he's held since childhood for something that wasn't even Bruce's fault.
  • An Ice Suit: Mr. Freeze.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Robin doesn't make his first appearance in Batman until Detective Comics #38, 11 issues and a year of publication after Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27.
  • I'll Kill You!: In his first appearance, The Joker was not played at all as funny, even in a dark way. He was, in fact, a permanently smiling psychotic gangster with no sense of humor whatsoever. In his first fight with Batman, Bats is actually the one making puns, Joker's Line? "I am going to kill you!"
  • Immortality Field: The Lazarus Pits, all metaphysically connected through Ley Lines, overlap with Fountain of Youth but zigzag in regards to being an Immortality Field. By bathing in a pit, an injured person can have their wounds healed, the old are made young, and the deceased can be brought back to lifenote . However, anyone who uses the pit and is not injured or dying will be killed. Also, each pit can only be used once, but its user will retain its effects even without staying in one and they're free to use another the next time they're in critical condition.
  • In Harm's Way: Batman almost never retires, when he does its usually because he's too infirm to continue fighting crime, and even then he guarantees he has a replacement, and participates in crime fighting from the back lines. In fact, more than a few works have all-but-stated that Batman can never retire. Played with, in that the reason for Batman's drive is less that Victory Is Boring, and more that his end goal lies somewhere between the eradication of evil and the resurrection of his dead parents and reclaiming his childhood (without that harming anyone else), which needless to say he's never accomplished.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Batman villains are serial representatives and offenders of this trope.
    • This results in part because of Characterization Marches On. The original Batman villains were master-criminals typical of pulp villains with no real motivations other than basic greed or lust for power. The first Joker dressed in white paint and didn't have silly gag-based antics. After the 50s, where comics were subject to Bowdlerization, Joker became a harmless villain with gag based antics celebrated in the 1966 TV series. When Dennis O'Neil, Steve Engelhart and other writers sought to make Joker menacing again, they had to justify the gag-based elements which had become The Artifact as well as other motif-themed criminals such as The Riddler who became famous thanks to the show.note  Their solution was Hollywood Psych, and they added Arkham Asylum into the mix. Since then, almost all of Batman's villains were described not merely as supervillains but as psychopaths.
    • Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns partly plays this straight and partly parodies it, by showing how absurd Batman's conflict with supervillains become when made a discourse to the popular psychology and sociological analysis of prime time cable news. Popular psychologists and careerist shrinks like Bat Wolper tries to cure the likes of Two Face via plastic surgery that repairs the bad-half of the face. It turns out to be the wrong half, the real Harvey Dent was the scarred out part of his face, representing his guilt and self-loathing. The book also shows Joker closer to the original Bill Finger characterization as a joyless psychopath who speaks in a Creepy Monotone, although it does this by playing up the Foe Yay element to whole new heights. Batman himself in Frank Miller's books is shown to be somewhat of a Functional Madman most of the times.
    • Alan Moore wrote The Killing Joke in part to reconcile all the elements of the earlier Joker origins with his new characterization as a psychopath, in the process he raised the question whether Joker can be truly held accountable for his actions on account of his mental illness, whether he can potentially be cured. While the "one bad day" element of Joker and the book's depiction of him as Batman's Shadow Archetype has endured, Moore felt that introducing realistic psychology is pointless with the function that Joker, as an entertaining supervillain, is supposed to perform.
    • Two-Face wasn't evil until one side of his face was ruined and (depending on the version) his insanity either began or became much worse. In fact, most Batman villains tend to fall into this category... with the exception (usually) of Humpty Dumpty, who saved Batgirl from falling off a building, fixed her dislocated shoulder, and went quietly to the asylum.
  • Insufferable Genius: The Riddler. Many versions have proving he's the smartest man in Gotham and/or smarter than Batman as his only motivation.
  • Interclass Romance: The Batman and Catwoman romance in the Post-Crisis era. He's Gotham's richest man, she's a poor orphan street kid turned criminal. In the original comics, Catwoman and Selina Kyle were Classy Cat-Burglar who stole for the thrill and Selina in civilian life had the identity of a prominent socialite. In modern comics, she was made poor to give her a Just Like Robin Hood motivation, to add spice in her dynamic with Bats. She's the only major Love Interest for Bruce who comes from a poor background (most of his Girl of the Week being rich heiresses, models, and so on, while Talia Al Ghul is basically a Princess) and their dynamic often invites Batman realizing how privileged he really is from his more street-smart and grounded girlfriend. In The Dark Knight Rises, the class differences becomes part of their Slap-Slap-Kiss dynamic while in the Batman: Arkham Series, Selina often expresses angst that Batman and Bruce are out of her league (and not just because he's a hero and she's a thief).
  • Irisless Eye Mask of Mystery: One of the most notable superheroes to have this trope as part of their design (to the point that he, along with Robin and Batgirl, provide the image for that article). A notable exception in printed media is when Alex Ross portrays him, much because of the artist's realistic style.
    • This carried over well into the animated adaptations. Indeed one particularly famous scene in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm derives much of its effect from the way the Irisless-look brings about a total transformation of the man into the superhero.
    • The Live-Action films and TV Shows obviously could not pull off this effect, until the finale of The Dark Knight where a brief sequence requiring Batman to interact with sonar imagery results in proto-Augmented Reality Goggles covering under his mask. The AR mask became the means by which this was adapted in the Batman: Arkham Series and has since entered the comics as well. The look returned in the Armored Costume of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • It Gets Easier: Why Batman doesn't kill.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Catwoman, occasionally, especially in recent years.
  • Just Whistle: The Bat-Signal serves this purpose.
  • Killed Off for Real: Martha and Thomas Wayne, or Batman's PARENTS. The ones that ARE DEEEAAAAAAAD!!! (Most of the time.)
  • Knight In Sour Armor: In some of the darker depictions of Gotham City.
    • 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. In the DC/Marvel Crossover where Bats met The Hulk, it's even shown to work on Ol' Greenskin.
  • 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.
  • Laughably Evil: Can anyone not say Joker? And, well, Harley Quinn as well (which, in some cases, manages to even overshadow Mr. J, her Puddin').
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: The Joker is a maniacal clown who often laughs at his own macabre jokes. Woe be it for any of his Mooks who fails to laugh along with him. Or fails to laugh hard enough. Or only seems to be pretending to laugh. Or laughs at a joke he wasn't supposed to. It sucks, being one of Joker's Mooks.
  • Laughing Mad: Oh, guess. The Riddler has his moments as well.
  • Lecherous Licking: Catwoman frequently does this to Batman.
  • Legacy Character: In some retellings, Bats himself; in more, his most famous sidekick.
  • Less Embarrassing Term: Spoiler's costume is not purple, it's eggplant. "Purple would've looked stupid."
  • Lighter and Softer: Yes, the Batman television series and Brave and the Bold cartoon, but John Byrne's crossover with Captain America set in the 40's shows that Batman can be The Cape and still be hard as nails and Awesome by Analysis; for example, Batman showing Bucky that the Batmobile's design is intended for city use, such as being able to switch off the headlights and still be able to navigate easily.
  • Living Doll Collector: The Mad Hatter's shtick.
  • Load-Bearing Hero:
    • Blockbuster does it in a story, holding up a collapsing mine prop long enough for Batman and the miners to escape.
    • Also during the Cataclysm event: a condemned criminal on death-row (who continually proclaims his innocence throughout his arc) keeps rubble from falling on his lawyer and a nun who were there to witness his execution. Earlier in the arc, he'd helped defend them against several escaping inmates, helping add to the reader's sympathies to the character. Subverted when he reveals that he really did commit the crime for which he was condemned, just before he finally passes out and dies when the rubble falls on top of him. Coincidentally right when he was scheduled to be put to death.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Even though most of his fellow heroes respect him, quite a few do take this viewpoint due to his standoffish and sometimes paranoid nature.
  • Loners Will Stay Alone: Batman is trapped in one of these due to his own inability to maintain a relationship with anyone.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: This is why Silver St. Cloud broke up with Bruce Wayne in a famous 1970s arc: she can't handle knowing that he's risking his life against people like The Joker every night, so she abandons him and Gotham. This seems to be the source for many other examples of this trope from Batman adaptations in other media.
  • Mad Scientist: Lots of them, beginning (in real time) with Hugo Strange and including Starter Villain Alfred Stryker experiments on guinea pigs in his spare time when he's not being a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
  • Make Them Rot: The villains Clayface III (Preston Payne) and Clayface V (Cassius "Clay" Payne) could make the bodies of living creatures melt by touching them. Clayface VI (Dr. Peter Malley) could make them melt without touching them.
  • Masquerading As the Unseen: In Silver Age comics, Bruce would sometimes have Superman or even Alfrednote  wear the cowl if he had to be in two places at once.
  • Master of All: Within works centered around him, especially those without superpowers (such as the movies), Batman tends to be this. He's the World's Greatest Detective, skilled in every scientific field, a Master of Disguise, a capable leader, one of the top martial artists in the world, has a ton of high-tech gadgets thanks to being high in the Fiction 500, has trained his body to Charles Atlas Superpower level, and often displays random skills such as being a capable actor just in case he might have need of that skill. In works where he teams up with superpowered or magical characters, not so much.
    • Bruce Wayne majored in The Theatrical Arts in college - acting for him is not a random skill, it is his primary skill. Batman has always been about the showmanship.
  • Master of Disguise: Sometimes he can even don them over his cowl.
  • Master Poisoner: Poison Ivy, the Joker, the Scarecrow
  • McNinja
  • Metallicar Syndrome: The Batmobile is Awesome, but Impractical: it gives away the fact that Batman (a hero who depends often on stealth) is in the neighborhood! Some versions have the ability to disguise their appearance as more normal cars, however.
    • Sometimes out and out invoked, as Batman scares criminals and regularly uses this fact to his advantage.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Catwoman's outfit sometimes is this.
  • Misery Builds Character: Batman envelopes the very heart of this trope.
  • Monster Clown: The Joker. Accept no substitutes.
  • Monster Fangirl: Harley Quinn to the Joker.
  • Mook Horror Show: One of the the best examples in comics.
  • Mooks: almost literally countless.
  • Moral Myopia: Villains operate on their own twisted morality.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Batman/Bruce Wayne. Also, Nightwing. Or more accurately, Nightwing's ass. Along with them Tim gets quite a bit of shower scenes to show off his very fine body.
  • Ms. Fanservice: On the other end of the pole, all the female villains, anti villains, and rogues, then most female supporting characters with Cassandra Cain being the most notable exception. Even there, some artists...
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: In the 60's television show, Batgirl was added to attract two demographics that weren't watching the show — young girls and their fathers.
  • Murder by Inaction:
    • In issue #633, Robin (Stephanie Brown) dies due to torture and Batman later discovers that Dr. Leslie Thompkins deliberately withheld treatment that could've saved her life but chose not to in order to teach the kids of Gotham a lesson about superheroing. This was retconned into Thompkins making Batman think that Stephanie died, but she didn't really die.
    • AzBats does this with Abattoir, to Robin's horror. Worse, this leads to the death of an innocent person.
  • Never Recycle a Building: Gotham is usually shown as having a huge amount of derelict real estate — particularly warehouses and / or carnivals — that has been left to rot rather than destroyed, no matter how many criminals seek them out for headquarters or meeting places. More recent stories have begun lampshading this, either by commenting that a severe depression caused by the death of the Waynes (or Gotham's general boom-bust economy) led these places to fold quickly, or by showing that Wayne Enterprises and other companies are actively trying to develop in these areas.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Killer Croc. Depending on the writer, he's a man with a really bad skin disease (which makes him look like reptilian) or in some others a full-blown, hungry crocodile-man.
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night: Gotham is shown as a deadly city mostly by night, which is the moment when the Caped Crusader defends the city from threats ranging from thugs to supervillains.
  • No-Harm Requirement: Being a Technical Pacifist, Batman usually does everything he can to avoid excessively harming his foes. A lot of his crime fighting gadgets are even explicitly designed to incapacitate foes without killing them or causing excessive harm. Though Darker and Edgier versions tend to drop this.
  • No OSHA Compliance: A lot of Gotham's buildings, warehouses and factories are like this, but the most glaring example is the Batcave. Platforms suspended over near-Bottomless Pits with nary a bit of railing in sight. The health hazards of all the moisture and wild bats have been pointed out from time-to-time as well.
  • No Sense of Humor: Batman is sometimes depicted as this, Depending on the Writer. Even when he does, it tends to be an extremely dry sense of humor that characters In-Universe have difficulty parsing.
  • The Notable Numeral: The Dynamic Duo and Titanic Trio.
  • Not So Different: It is generally agreed upon that one of the biggest reasons Batman has the best villains in the business (Joker, Scarecrow, et cetera) is the fact that each of them reflect an element of Batman himself. However, Joker is the most prominent, oft-referenced version of this; in many of his incarnations, he is very fond of pointing out that Batman has no greater claim to sanity than Joker himself does, often lampshading - if not directly invoking - this trope.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Brucie's outward persona is like this, to make him seem harmless and Not-Batman-At-All.
  • Offhand Backhand: Considered to be one of his trademark moves.
  • Officer O'Hara: At first a generic cop who would just say "Saints Preserve Us!" anytime something dramatic happened, later reinvented by Jeph Loeb with heavy influences by The Untouchables.
  • Offing the Mouth: The number of times that Gotham City mooks have been killed by their bosses precisely for this reason could fill up a page in and of itself.
  • Old Money: Where Bats gets the money to fund his crimefighting. The Waynes are one of the oldest, richest, and most respected families in Gotham, and often depicted as having been involved in its founding. Sometimes it's his mom's family that's this while his dad's family is Nouveau Riche after his grandfather made all the money.
  • 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: In most versions, Batman becomes who he is through witnessing the deaths of his parents as a child, leaving him to dedicate his life to ridding Gotham of crime.
  • Panacea: Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus pits.
  • Papa Wolf: Batman himself, and Commissioner Gordon when his kid's involved.
  • The Paragon: Depending on the continuity.
  • Parental Abandonment: HIS PARENTS ARE DEEAAAAAAAD!
  • Photo Doodle Recognition: In one Golden Age story, Bruce Wayne realises that a new playboy in town and the master thief he is hunting are one and the same when Dick Grayson doodles a moustache and goatee on a picture of the playboy in the newspaper.
  • Picked Flowers Are Dead: Poison Ivy is known to react this way.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: In some continuities where his cape has some gadgets built in.
  • Plant Aliens: He has dealt with them in the story "The Plants of Plunder".
  • Plant Mooks: A common tactic used by Poison Ivy is to grow her own army of obedient Mooks.
  • 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 Trio: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have been called the "holy trinity" of the Justice League. They even starred in a comic called Trinity for a short time together.
  • The Proud Elite: He 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. Even the Ventriloquist got a second chance once on an episode of New Batman Adventures.
  • Psycho for Hire: Zsasz, sometimes Bane, occasionally Killer Croc, and even The Joker when it suits his fancy.
  • Psychological Horror: The insanity of the Bat-villains can drive them to do horrific things, which in turn causes severe psycho-trauma to survivors and even witnesses.
  • Rainbow Motif: The colors tied to each of the Robins combined with Batman's indigo creates a subdued rainbow motif. Dick is Blue, Jason is Red, Tim was Green, Stephanie is Purple/Violet and Damian is Yellow. Things got muddled by bringing Timmy Todd's uniform from the DCAU in for Tim and tying him to red and the Bat's costumes less and less frequently including dark blue so the motif has been lost over the years.
  • Real Life Superpowers: The Trope Codifier for comics. To the point that people often question (in both real life and fiction) if he actually has real superpowers.
  • Reckless Pacifist: Batman, 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.
  • Reckless Sidekick: Jason Todd (in the issues leading up to his death), Damian Wayne
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Jason Todd was a street urchin who stole the wheels off the Batmobile. Bruce Wayne takes him in (later adopting him) and trains him up as his new sidekick.
  • Red Baron: The Batman has been known as the Caped Crusader, the Gotham Guardian, the Masked Manhunter or more commonly, the Dark Knight, which came from Darknight Detective. A Silver age World's Finest cover referred to him as "the Cowled Crimefighter."
  • Red Is Violent:
    • Jason Todd, after coming back from the dead, made a Face–Heel Turn and became a more violent vigilante than Batman himself under the name of Red Hood.
    • In the alternate universe of Flashpoint (and in the animated adaptation), Batman/Thomas Wayne is more cruel and ruthless than this universe's Batman, able to kill his enemies to stop menaces, being only compared with Marvel's Punisher. This version of Batman incorporated the red to the costume, mostly in the cape, the symbol and the red eyes.
    • There's also Batman of Zur-En-Arrh (who dresses in red and purple), who was an uninhibited alter ego that Bruce Wayne had constructed to protect himself in the event that his base psyche was under attack.
      I'm what you get when you take Bruce out of the equation...
    • And from Battle for the Cowl saga, one of the men who wants to take Batman's legacy is the ruthless Two-Face, who wears a Batman costume splitted in two colors as his normal motif, having one side black/dark blue and the other one red.
  • Reinventing the Telephone: The Batsignal
  • Relationship Reboot: After Infinite Crisis, Batman returns to Gotham City and decides to give the former corrupt cop Harvey Bullock another chance.
  • 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.
  • Resurrection Sickness: What Ra's Al Ghul experiences after using the Lazarus Pit.
  • Revealing Skill: In the backstory of the third Robin (Tim Drake), this is how he learned the secret identities of Batman and Robin (Dick Grayson): by watching news coverage of the Dynamic Duo's escapades, during which Robin performed a complicated gymnastics move (a quadruple somersault) — which it had been established could be performed only by orphaned circus artist Dick Grayson.
  • Revealing Reflection: One arc has Selina Kyle run for Mayor of Gotham. Worried mobsters hire Gunhawk to silence the cunning minx, and Gunhawk tries sniping at her from an adjacent building during a fundraiser. Selina notices the sniper's reflection in a champagne flute, and dives for cover in the nick of time.
  • 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.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: When the stories first began, they followed the pulp magazine model. Things became Lighter and Softer shortly after Robin was introduced, and the Jack Schiff era relished in this trope. Julius Schwartz attempted Cerebus Syndrome when his term as editor started, but then the 1960's show debuted and the trope was forced to reverse itself for the comic to emulate the show. The syndrome has waved back and forth since then.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: In Batman #525, Mr Freeze's mooks, Ice and Cube, do this. At least Ice does, speaking after Cube and rhyming with what he said. (This was before Batman: The Animated Series' backstory for Freeze became Ret-Canon'd into the comics).
    Cube: Rappers, Ice, we ain't.
    Ice: My lines, Cube, are too quaint?
    Cube: Knock it off, Ice.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Batman deliberately cultivates this image as Bruce Wayne. See Obfuscating Stupidity. This still happens but in more recent years, he's more often competent but aloof and reclusive as CEO.
  • Riddle Me This: The Riddler's Catchphrase and MO.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Hush, Deadshot. Subverted with Red Hood II, Catwoman
  • Rod And Reel Repurposed: The Cult of Zafub from Legends of the Dark Knight #128-131 are a group of assassins who specialize in killing their targets using that target's greatest skill. So a stunt driver gets run off the road, an army guy might be forced into a Sniper Duel, a master martial artist might be beaten by a better martial artist and, as we see in the comic, a fisherman gets killed by an assassin with — you guessed it — a fishing rod.
  • Rogues Gallery: Quite possibly the most famous, extensive, and recognizable Rogues Gallery in all of comics. Also easily one of the most violent.
  • Rogues Gallery Showcase The Long Halloween, Hush.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: On the face of it Batman sounds like a man of the Enlightenment, he's very rational, methodical and even a little cold, extremely well read and intelligent and a master detective, however Batman's stories are purely romantic, complete with criminals who are embodiment of concepts, ideas and general irrationality rather than anything close to the real-world. The idea of madness and insanity is presented as an all-pervasive force, impervious to any rational understanding (cf, Arkham Asylum) and most of Gotham seem to accept and trust the Vigilante to keep order rather than the institutions of municipal, state and federal government. Batman himself is the embodiment of that most Romantic archetype, the Byronic Hero complete with giant mansion with subterranean lair for him to brood in.
  • Rule of Cute: Funko Inc.'s collection of super-deformed, button-eyed DC heroes and villains, most of whom are Batman-related. Just look how cute that widdle Caped Crusader is! Also, LEGO Batman.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Cassandra Cain, but also Bruce Wayne in a few things.
  • Sanity Slippage: Depending on the Writer, but some feel Batman's already lost his mind and is a functioning psychotic. Eel O'Brian summed it up best when Bruce was separated from Batman.
    Eel: All that rage and no place to put it. No training to use it. So it just eats away at ya more and more until they eventually lock you up. Until you and Raynor and me are fightin' over a pudding cup in the psycho ward.
  • Save the Day, Turn Away: The ending of Batman: Year One.
  • Save the Villain: Too many times to count.
  • Say My Name: If you haven't figured it out by now, He's Batman
  • Secret Identity Apathy: Batman and the Joker have always been the most well-known example. At one point, the Joker actively threatened a mob boss who'd tried to buy Batman's secret identity from Hugo Strange, declaring that learning the truth of Batman's identity would ruin all his fun.
  • Secret Identity Identity: Depending on the Writer, and something of a Cyclic Trope. Bruce Wayne is a violent, obsessive loner who plays the dual roles of Batman (who gives him the power to instill fear in criminals and take revenge) and "Billionaire Playboy" Bruce Wayne (leading the carefree life he cannot truly enjoy, and actually disdains). He usually identifies more with Batman (to the point of calling himself such in his head), but not always. The two things they all have in common is that they are self-absorbed, and that they cannot get over the murder of Bruce's parents in Crime Alley.
  • Self-Made Orphan:
    • Bruce Wayne's childhood friend Thomas Elliot tried to kill his parents at a young age in order to inherit their riches and because his father was an abusive monster and his mother a simpering money hungry lunatic. He only succeeded in killing his father, and, to avoid suspicion, didn't try again, only truly being orphaned when he smothered his raving senile mother in a fit of anger. This left him with a bitter hatred of Bruce, who tragically lost his parents soon after Tommy tried to kill his. Later on in his life, he joins the Riddler (who discovered that Bruce was Batman on a vendetta against him, feeling that, not only did Bruce get the riches Tommy wanted, but that he was wasting those riches as well. Predictably, his vendetta eventually causes him to lose everything and become the full time Super Villain Hush.
    • Black Mask killed his parents in a fire to inherit their business and fortune. Unfortunately, he was a lousy businessman and when he tried to burn down the factory to cover his tracks, he wound up with the facial injury that gave him his villain name. He was a lot better at being Ax-Crazy than a businessman anyways.
    • In a look at The Joker's childhood in The Brave and the Bold revival issue #31, as a child the Joker burned down his house with his bickering parents inside. This being the Joker, who knows how accurate the story is.
    • According to The Long Halloween, Jonathan Crane (the future Scarecrow) killed his mom. On Mother's Day.
    • The Penguin. In most versions his father dies of bronchial pneumonia, but in Penguin: Pain and Prejudice His father's behavior and commentary eventually pushed him too far, and he murdered Tucker Cobblepot, leaving him alone with his mother. The only one that showed any signs of loving him.
    • A one-off character in the debut issue of Gotham Knights is a child that kills his parents.
  • Servile Snarker: Alfred was a candidate for Trope Namer.
  • The Shadow Knows: Bruce Wayne is occasionally depicted as casting a shadow with Batman's silhouette, emphasizing the idea that Bruce is a mask for Batman.
  • Shadow Archetype: Several of Batman's villains apply, such as The Joker (obsession and mental issues), Catwoman (night animal motif and skills with things like spying and thievery, was also a wealthy socialite in the Golden Age), The Penguin (was created as a parody of Bruce's image as a fop), and Two-Face (dual nature). Batman himself has served as a Shadow Archetype for Superman.
  • Shoe Shine, Mister?: In one early comic, Robin goes undercover as a shoeshine boy, and when the villain of the week stops to get a shine, Robin secretly applies a tracking device to his shoe.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Joker's first appearance has civilians dismissing his threats over radio as a hoax, much like the 1938 The War of the Worlds broadcast, mentioning it in all but name.
    • The 1960's Batman series was generally held in disfavor by Batman's comic book creators, but prolific Batman writer Chuck Dixon was a fan of the show, and snuck in some tributes here and there. Most notably in a two-parter featuring pirate-themed villain Cap'n Fear, which was structured much like a two-parter for the show, and began "in the shadow of the Westward Bridge."
    • In the one-shot Vengeance of Bane, the titular villain ambushes four mooks that resemble the four actors within The Three Stooges. This wasn't the only appearance of the Stooges in comics.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Batman keeps Jason's costume on display in the Batcave.
  • Shrunken Head: One of the final Pre-Crisis Batman stories from 1986 involved an axe-murderer making one of these from the head of his victim, a woman he murdered out of jealousy.
  • Sidekick: The assorted Robins have their own page!
  • Sidekick Graduations Stick: Grayson is one of the more triumphant examples, though Todd, Drake, and Brown have all moved on as well.
  • Signature Laugh: Several, represented different ways in different media:
    • The Penguin's "wah wah" squawking laugh.
    • Riddler's high pitched giggle.
    • Joker's maniacal cackle (particularly Mark Hamill's interpretation).
    • The Scarecrow's infamous "HRROOO HRRAAA", which nobody knows how to pronounce.
  • Signature Team Transport: Batman has plenty of Bat-vehicles, but the Batmobile is the most iconic.
  • Silver Fox: Depending on the art style, Commissioner Gordon can be one of these.
  • Skull for a Head: Black Mask
  • Small Steps Hero: Bruce could stop being Batman and use his fortune to clean up Gotham permanently, but that would mean ignoring the common crime that happen every night. The fact that he has the power to not only stop crime and save the world regularly is one of the things he admires about Superman.
  • Smug Snake: The Riddler. But significantly less so since his reformation in Detective Comics #822. Still smug, but a highly successful detective as well.
  • Snow Means Love: A rather tragic example: flashbacks in one comic show a pre-transformation Dr. Victor Fries, starved for love his whole life, finally find happiness with his future wife Nora, and the two share a tender first kiss as snow falls around them. What makes it tragic is the fact that we already know that eventually Nora contracts the rare disease that results in her being placed in suspended animation while Victor feverishly works to save her...before he himself is turned into Mr. Freeze. The fact that they share their first kiss while snow falls around them is romantic...but still bitter irony considering the mutation that Victor ends up undergoing later on.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: It varies by the writer, but Bruce Wayne is often depicted as not really understanding how to behave like a normal Rich Idiot with No Day Job, and finds hosting a Wayne Foundation party more stressful than taking on the Joker.
  • Spirited Competitor
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Contender for Trope Codifier.
  • Starter Villain: Alfred Stryker, a chemical executive who is killing off his business partners so he can take sole ownership of the company. Like many starter villains, Stryker is physically unimposing and dies by the end of his issue without much fanfare.
  • 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: Even when threatening mooks as a Guttural Growler, Bats never really loses control. During a fight with The Punisher, while Frank Castle's internal monologue is about giving into rage and joining the chaos, Batman prefers to remain cool and avoid being consumed by other people's rage and use that to his advantage.
  • Stolen by Staying Still: In one short story, a gem vanished from inside a special display case in a museum. The thief was the curator, who had designed the display case and the lighting for the exhibit. The top pane of glass was a special lens that, when the light shone through it, made the case appear to be empty. He then palmed the gem as he was dissembling the case for the police.
  • Story-Breaker Team-Up: Whenever the Bat-mite shows up.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: The story "And The Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels" has the villain going above and beyond by covering the victim in glue and sticking the bomb to their chest (and sticking the victim to the ceiling, too). By the time Batman finds them, there's not nearly enough time to do something about the bomb...
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: Joker is prone to this.
  • Sudden Name Change:
    • Stephanie Brown's mother was named "Agnes" when she originally appeared in Detective Comics, but her name was later changed to "Crystal." According to Scott Beatty (who was the first to rename her), he had asked DC editors about the name of the mother but no one could remember, leading to an accidental name change that stuck.
    • The Post-Crisis Huntress 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".
      • Huntress' parents were named Guido and Carmela in her original 1989 origin, but their names were later changed to Franco and Maria by the time of Greg Rucka's retelling in the Cry For Blood miniseries.
    • Harvey Dent's wife is generally known as Gilda, but was renamed "Grace" in a 1989 Secret Origins story and the name carried over to her animated counterpart in Batman: The Animated Series. All later comic appearances switched her name back to Gilda.
    • Harvey himself was originally introduced as "Harvey Kent". They changed his name so there'd be no confusion with that other fellow.
    • While Poison Ivy's civilian name was initially established as Pamela Isley, Gerry Conway inexplicably gave her the name of "Lillian Rose" when he wrote her origin in World's Finest #252. Post-Crisis, Neil Gaiman would re-establish the Pamela Isley name (along with overhauling her origin).
      • Gotham has gained some controversy for changing her name from Pamela Isley to Ivy Pepper.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: One of the surviving Golden Age Of Comics Trope Codifiers.
  • Superheroes Wear Tights: See above.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: Batman enemy Scarecrow uses fear gas to cause hallucinations, paranoia, and even full on panic-induced heart attacks in his victims. Sometimes this overlaps with I Know What You Fear, while other times it's just straight up irrational terror.
  • Superhero Sobriquets: The Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the World's Greatest Detective, the Dark Knight Detective. Robin is the Boy Wonder and Joker is the Clown Prince of Crime, the Thin White Duke of Death, and the Harlequin of Hate.
  • Survivor Guilt: His ENTIRE LIFE revolves around the guilt he felt at his parents' murder.
  • Suspect Existence Failure: The Gotham City Police Department once has a prime suspect in a series of brutal killings with a veritable mountain of damning evidence against him, up to and including his going around and bragging to everyone who would listen that he did it all. It turns out that all of the evidence is manipulated or outright fabricated, because the guy is trying to make a name for himself of another's deeds. For reasons beyond human understanding, he decided to pick Gotham's most infamous and self-aggrandizing mass-murderer to bite off from — The Joker. No bonus points for guessing how it ends for him.
  • Talking Through Technique: With Cassandra Cain.
  • Technical Pacifist: Since Robin's first appearance, at least.
  • Terrible Trio: There's a group of fairly obscure villains called the Terrible Trio (who, as far as can be told, weren't in mind when naming this trope). Made up of the Shark, the Fox, and the Vulture, the Terrible Trio is of extremely variable threat, and they don't show up very often because they're pretty mundane as Batman rogues go.
    • Though in each animated series they appear in, they gradually become more badass. In Batman: The Animated Series they were billionaires who committed crimes because they literally did EVERYTHING exciting, who (Mainly Fox) completely crossed the Moral Event Horizon. In The Batman they were teenage social outcasts considered "freaks" by the majority of their college campus. In which they stole the Man-Bat formula and transformed themselves into BeastMen (Though they tweaked it to keep their own sentience unlike Man-Bat) and plotted to "Turn everyone in their college into animal people like them, so everyone would be the same" in Batman: The Brave and the Bold they were warriors who stole ancient animal totems to turn into giant powerful beastmen. In every animated appearance, Fox is always the leader and usually always the final battle for Batman.
  • 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. Even Superman is unable to put the kind of fear in criminals that Batman does.
  • Thememobile: The Batmobile, the Batwing, the Batcycle, etc etc...
  • There Are No Therapists:
    • Most depictions for the past two decades have made it clear Mr. Wayne has... issues... lots of issues.
    • Double Subverted. There are numerous psychologists in Gotham City - just none you'd actually want helping you. Scarecrow and Hugo Strange would rather drive you mad for laughs, whereas Harley Quinn and Jeremiah Arkham couldn't even keep themselves sane. Then there's the crack staff of Arkham Asylum, who will probably be curing their first patient any day now.
      • How many levels of subversion did they reach when Arkham did successfully cure Cluemaster... of his obsessive need to leave clues. Now he's just a criminal genuis who doesn't give our heroes any way to anticipate his next crime.
      Robin: "Gee, thanks, Arkham!"
      • How about the fact that in multiple continuities, including the titular video games, Arkham was founded not to cure the mentally ill but to exterminate them.
      • Though averted in Batman: The Animated Series, multiple episodes have shown that certain villains such as Penguin and Harley Quinn were cured, though Penguin went back to villainy when his heart was broken and Harley Quinn was starting to snap back in less than a hour after release, simply over a misunderstanding towards a shirt she paid for, which just went downhill further and further. Then there was the Ventriloquist in The Batman who was completely rehabilitated, only for Hugo Strange to pull him back in For the Evulz.
    • In the It Takes a Thief storyline in JLA, Bruce and Batman are separated into two personlities. Bruce is full of rage, while Batman is a soulless, faceless cypher. Eel O'Brian (Plastic Man's original identity) sums it up:
      Eel: Everyone figured that when you split Bruce Wayne and Batman, you get a fop and a lunatic. Which is true. But not like we thought.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Though at best a Technical Pacifist, and motivated by the real-world considerations of his creators, there are two in-universe explanations for his adherence to the code:
    • In the Novelization of Knightfall, Gordon in an internal monologue reveals he only works with Bats because he doesn't kill. The moment he crosses the line, according to Gordon, his relationship with Batman will be over and he'll be marked as a criminal like any other — as indeed he was in the very earliest stories. Bruce is smart enough to know this. But, even more importantly:
    • In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman is trying to explain to a resurrected Jason Todd why he can't even bring himself to rid the world of The Joker:
      Batman: But if I do that, if I allow myself to go down into that place... I'll never come back.
  • Token Motivational Nemesis:
    • Joe Chill the mugger, who is seldom seen again after serving his narrative purpose of introducing us to and traumatizing Bruce Wayne. In some versions, notably Frank Miller's, he doesn't even have a name.
    • Joe Chill did appear again in a 1948 followup to the origin story, where it's revealed he eventually became a small-time gangster. Unfortunately for him, Batman soon found him out, leading to a classic confrontation. Chill also appeared post-Crisis in several stories. Post-Zero Hour he was specifically stated NOT to be the Wayne killer, bringing Batman's desire for vengeance back to the way Miller envisioned it.
    • Batman had to ally with Joe Chill when facing a legacy of The Reaper, a crazed slasher vigilante. At several points, Batman has the choice of whether to save Joe's life and each time, he does.
    • Joker sees Batman like this.
  • Tontine: The very first Batman story, The Case of the Chemical Syndicate, used this as a plot point.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • A security guard in Arkham Asylum: Madness ran head first in to this trope when he decided to put the Name "Milton Napier" on a plaque to screw with The Joker. It ended badly. For the guard that is.
    • Speaking of The Joker, any Gotham City mook that decides to work for him is Too Dumb to Live. What do those mooks have to look forward to? If they're lucky: almost certainly getting their asses kicked by Batman. But not only does the Joker routinely kill his own Mooks for failing him, he'll do it in order to try and kill Batman, because they have outlived their usefulness, because they might have said something that he didn't like, or because he was bored. How dumb to you have to be to work for a guy who will kill you for shits and giggles? The rest of Batman's rogue's gallery aren't much better, but the Joker takes the cake.
      • There are a couple explanations. Some of the Joker's mooks are almost as crazy as him and are drawn to his madness. The Joker's randomness also means that he'll shower his mooks with money as often as he kills them for kicks, so working for the Joker is basically Russian Roulette.
    • Let's face it: Thomas Wayne. Instead of waiting for Alfred to show up and chauffeur them back to the mansion, he decided to take a shortcut through Crime Alley. All dressed up. At night. In the rain. It's just a pity his foolishness got both himself and his wife killed, and his son traumatized along with him.
      • It wasn't called Crime Alley back then. It's canon that it used to be a nice neighborhood called Park Row. The Wayne murders signaled the beginning of the decline of the neighborhood. But then again, they walked into some random, trash-strewn alley, through a side door of the theater, because that's how rich people routinely exit such establishments.
    • Any supervillain who has ever shown up in his city and thought, "What threat could a mere mortal pose to me?"
    Joker: "There's nothing mere about that mortal."
    • Also, anyone who has ever teamed up with The Joker and then decided to double cross him thinking, "He's just a clown with too much free time. What could he possibly do?"
      • At least people who team up with the Joker usually have their own Joker Immunity to prevent serious problems. Henchmen that work for the Joker though are just asking to be killed.
  • Too Funny to Be Evil: Usually the Riddler. Less often the Joker.
    • And those who believe this of The Joker are often proven fatally wrong.
    • In The Animated Series, The Riddler just seems more lighthearted. The Joker applies to this more.
  • Tragic Dream:
    • This is what motivates Mr. Freeze, wanting to cure his wife.
    • After an extenuating day being Batman, Jean-Paul Valley reflected that after being the Avatar of the Order of St. Dumas, 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... ending crime forever in Gotham is a madman’s dream.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Batman frequently does this, and he usually uses a Stealth Hi/Bye to get away when he's done.
  • The Trickster: A role sometimes shared by Joker and Riddler, depending on the situation and motivation.
  • Troll Fic: Batman Hero Of Gotham. Characters die and randomly come back to life (In Chapter 3, the Joker dies and then comes back to life for no reason in around 12 sentences), The Penny Plunderer is called "one of the most powerful villains in Gotham", Batgirl walks off a backbreaker from Bane, and Crazy Quilt is called "the evilest villain ever" and actually kills Robin (thus leading to Alfred, of all people, taking up the mantle). Many other characters also appear, such as Wolverine (who even says that he appears in everything), a few of the other X-Men, Darkseid (spelled as Darkseed), Superman, General Zod, and Master Chief (spelled as Mastar Chief). Also, there's tons of bad grammar. Here's some quotes from the story:
    "STOP ZOMMBIES!" Batman say, "YOU DIE!" Batman then use anti-zommbie spray on zommbies.
  • A "True" Hero: Batman is sometimes argued to be the "real" hero in the DC Universe, because he lacks the superpowers almost all of his peers have. Batman gets by on his wits, genius and skill rather than superhuman abilities. In addition, most portrayals of the character portray him as somewhere between an Unscrupulous Hero or Pragmatic Hero, who is willing and able to get his hands dirty when it comes to saving people and stopping crime. To many, this resonates as being more of a "True Hero" than those who don't need to sacrifice half as much as he does and never had to work to achieve their abilities.
  • True Love Is Boring: One of the major reasons why Bruce will probably never settle down.
  • Tsundere: Damian Wayne is one of the rare male examples, and is type A towards... everyone. Dick Grayson, Stephanie Brown, Alfred...
  • Two-Headed Coin: A characteristic attribute of Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Played straight as Dent and then subverted by Two-Face.
  • 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.
    • Similarly, The Joker also gets dismissed by heroes and villains who are less familiar with him. As for later...well, there's a reason that when super villains (people far more powerful than the Joker) want to terrify each other, they tell Joker stories.
  • Underhanded Hero: Batman is the archetypal powerless superhero, and as such, his fighting style relies heavily on misdirection and agility. His other skills include stealth, spying, and hacking, all done in the name of protecting Gotham City.
  • Underwear of Power: 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). Also, the Robins wore this until Tim Drake came along.
  • The Unsmile: This applies to Batman, but not Bruce Wayne. Which may imply a bit of insight regarding his psyche.
  • Urban Hellscape: Modern versions often portray Gotham in this light. Filled with incompetent or corrupt cops, gangs controlling the streets, with the neighboring city of Metropolis being the "pristine" Mega-Corp-run sister city. The ultimate example of this in the franchise is the (at the time) future-set Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Useless Spleen: Tim Drake loses his spleen to a sword-strike in Red Robin #4.
  • The Vamp: Poison Ivy, Nocturna, Catwoman at times (Depending on the Writer), and others.
  • Villain of Another Story: This is the usual role of Henri Ducard. He knows Batman's secret identity, and even occasionally helps the hero for his own purposes, but it's also always clear that Ducard is an amoral Professional Killer involved in a variety of shady things in his native Europe. (unlike the films, Ducard is not an alias of Ra's al Ghul in the comics.)
  • Villainous Harlequin: Harley Quinn.
  • 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.
  • Water Source Tampering: Deconstructed in one comic, where Bruce deduces the Villain of the Week won't put his hallucinogen into the water supply, because it's too easy to shut off. Instead, he plots to put it in the milk supply.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • Bruce is motivated by the standards of his father and sometimes wonders if he's living up to him and if being Batman is an appropriate way to carry on the Wayne legacy. Since his father isn't there to acknowledge him, this creates moments of doubt and insecurity that Bruce usually has to overcome.
    • Silas Wayne, who, in his last moments of life, becomes proud of Bruce when he reveals himself as Batman, and happier that the rest of the family wasn't in the room to learn the secret identity, so he'll die proudly with the knowledge that a Wayne is Batman.
    • While he's gotten better about it, this was Damian's whole motivating factor for much of his existence. It's still there but Damian now knows that his dad loves him and is proud of him no matter what.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Ra's Al Ghul.
    • The Order of St. Dumas, who created Azrael, who was also one.
  • When He Smiles: Whenever Batman (Not Bruce Wayne), starts smiling. It can range from very touching or crap-your-pants terrifying.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: The Tim Burton movie is the Trope Namer.
  • Where the Hell Is Gotham?: Apparently, New Jersey. Many people from the greater Trenton area dispute this, as Gotham is shown to be a grungy, filth-ridden, dated city, and nothing in New Jersey could be that nice.
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: Rare dramatic example - new villainess "The Absence" has an enormous hole in her forehead and extending all the way through, with no visible brain, yet functions just fine, and may be smarter than before the hole happened. It appears to be a combination of a freak medical condition and Gotham City's water supply being seriously tainted.
  • Wolverine Publicity: This is beginning to become a bit of a problem for not just Bats but his wider crew. In the New 52 line-up of titles, not only does Bats and his "family" have more individual titles than the any other superhero (only the combined Justice League matches), but counting characters with major recurring roles in other titles, the Bat-family shows up in twenty of the 52 current titles put out by DC. By comparison, Superman and Green Lantern, and related characters, only show up in six or so books each, total. Most people suspect this is due to the constant financial success Batman's had, especially in the past two decades (as noted above), and especially in the past half-decade or so, between the Arkham games and TDK.
  • World's Best Warrior: The reason Batman is The Dreaded is because winning is never an impossibility for him. Even if he's outclassed or outfought, he always has the means to win.
  • Your Worst Memory: The murder of Bruce Wayne's parents continues to haunt him, and if there's a dream sequence or hallucination in a particular plot, chances are that Batman will relive their deaths over the course of it.


Video Example(s):


Batman vs Ninja Turtles

Batman surprises everyone with pizza. The Ninja Turtle's favorite!

How well does it match the trope?

3.67 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / TrademarkFavoriteFood

Media sources:

Main / TrademarkFavoriteFood