...some call me The Batman.
, Detective Comics
#35 (not his first appearance, but the Ur-Example
of this line).
You're Batman! Bruce Wayne:
: I'm Batman. Static: And I'm Beyoncé! (later) Terry McGinnis: (to Bruce, about Static)
He says his name's Beyoncé
I'm the Batman... and you're dust. "I'm the Batman."
— Batman, Batman: Death Mask
No, you're not! I'm Batman!! Nuh-uh, dudes, I'm Batman! Batman:
I'm Batman. Chibi Batman: Please
. Make me laugh again. Batman:
Excuse me? Chibi Batman:
I'm the goshdarn Batma
You are the slinking coward who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne. Joe Chill:
That was a lifetime ago! Batman:
Yes, my lifetime. You took them without mercy or regret, and in cold blood, Chill! Joe Chill:
How do you know this? How could you possibly— Batman:
I know because I watched it happen. I know because I am the son of the man you murdered. I... am Bruce Wayne!
— Batman to Deadman explaining how he figured out who Deadman was despite never having seen him
, Brightest Day
"Ich bin Fledermausmann!"
— Batman to a German kidnapper, Arkham Knight #10
Whoever you are, prepare to be incinerated! Batman:
Want to know who I am? I'M BATMAN!
— Batman and Robin #36
I am Batman. Dick Grayson:
What? Bruce Wayne:
I... am... Batman.
You can't spend the rest of your life alone, dressed in black, listening to angry music, and staying up all night. Batman:
Yes, I can. 'Cause I'm Batman!
You are no Sub-Zero! Batman:
How is it you
But there's something I don't get. Why you?
I mean, no offence, but you're just...Bruce. Bruce Wayne:
: Tell me something. Why were you so sure those voices weren't coming from you? Bruce Wayne
: Well first, I know I'm not psychotic. Terry McGinnis
: I hope your other reason is more convincing. Bruce Wayne
: And second, the voice kept calling me Bruce. In my mind, that's not what I call myself. Terry McGinnis
: What do you call yourself? (Bruce simply gives a Meaningful Look) Terry McGinnis
: Oh yeah. I suppose you would. [beat, smirks] But that's my name now
. Bruce Wayne
: Hm. Tell that to my subconscious.
I've got one more thing to say, and it'll only take me a second.
I've got two words that I want you all to remember, they're very important,
and if I leave you with anything, I'm gonna leave you with these two words.
And those two words are... (Beat) I'm Batman
(to Jim Gordon, who was Batman at the time): You die with the Signal sucked dry and dark. Because you are not Bat... (A hand pushes Luscious' head through the Bat Signal
(yes, the actual one, Bruce Wayne): No... I am. Jim Gordon
: ...You? Batman
: Hello, Jim. Who died and made you
— Batman v2 #50
OK, I scared her by accident. You
did that on purpose. Batman:
And juror number four, where do you live? Bruce Wayne:
Wayne Manor. Prosecutor:
Mhh-hm, occupation? Bruce Wayne:
I own a corporation. Prosecutor:
I see, and is there any reason you shouldnt be on this jury? Bruce Wayne: Yes, Im Batman
. Later, Batman and Robin are patrolling Gotham: Robin:
You did not. Batman:
Of course I did. What else could I do? I was under oath not to lie. Robin:
So, so what happened? I mean, I assume you're not on the jury. Batman:
After everyone stopped laughing the judge told me this was a serious matter and that I would refrain for any further jokes. And then they put me on the jury.
If you try to hurt my universe, my world, my family, like so many before you, you will fight, you will fail, you will fall. You are judgement. Power. Glory. Fine. I'm Batman.
— Batman annual #4, said to a being asking why he shouldn't destroy the universe. He didn't.
"No you're not, I'm Batman!" (other DC characters)
It seems you have discovered our little secret. Yes, I admit it. I am Batman.
Static: (waking up in the Batcave) Who're you?
Static:... I don't think so.
Just once, I'd like someone to believe that.
Y'see, the thing is...you're NOT!
Darling, I don't have to answer to you. I'm Batman!
Riddler: Everyone knows Batman doesn't kill.
"C'mon, don't you recognise me? I'm Batman.
I'm Batman. Shazam:
Get him, Batman! [throws toy at Sivana]
"Nuh-uh, dudes, I'm Batman!" (parodies in non-DC media)
"Of course I'm the real Batman. See, here's a picture of me with Robin."
" (Batman cowl appears
Dean: I'm Batman.
Ferr: You are the night.
Maxwell Adams: I am Batman.
You're invisible, you got the Hookshot
... you're Batman.
Gert: You're... You're...
Yes. I'm Batman.
You're not a dark and troubled soul. You're a doctor who thinks he's Batman.
Coach: Hold on, where are you?
Football player: I'm in New York.
Football player(grinning): You're the coach.
Coach: And who are you?
Coach: Sit down.
: You don't understand, I'm Batman!
Dude, the guy is a teacher
, not- (secret passage to underground lab opens)
: I couldn't become Green Lantern
unless I was chosen by the Guardians of Oa, but given enough start-up capital and an adequate research facility, I could
be Batman. Leonard: You
could be Batman? Sheldon:
Sure! (gravelly voice)
I'm Batman!... See?
: The bus is OUTTA CONTROL! So I grab him by the collar, I take him out of the seat, I get behind the wheel, and now I'm driving the bus! Jerry
: Wow. George:
You're Batman. Kramer:
Yeah. Yeah, I am Batman!
Linkara, in his Batman voice
: I'm not Batman, I'm totally not Batman... *mimicks hiding his mouth with a cape* I'm Batman.
"Might as well come clean: I am Batman. [J]" "If I were to go on there and write that, I don't know, I'm Batman, how long would I legitimately be Batman?"
Batman: I'm Batman.
Superman: I know you are.
Batman: It's what I do.
: I know. You say that a lot
: ...Dude, it's cool.
: But dude, you know what I would've done? Batman
: Oh, I don't know, probably just- Superman and Batman simultaneously
: Fly really fast, saving everyone from the bullets and explosions! Superman
: Exactly! Batman
: Yeah, well, I can't do those things. Because I'm not an super-bulletproof alien from another planet that can defy gravity
. But you know what I can
: What's that? Batman
: Make an incredibly awesome movie!
...You know why? Superman
: [Resigned] Because you're Bat- Batman
: Because I'm Batman
Superman: Dude, I catch falling planes in mid-air every other week.
: ... And I'm Batman.
"What? I bring joy to the world. I am filled with mirth and sunlight. Also, I am Batman." "Hello. I'm Batman. I remember it, because I'm Batman."
Batman: Hey, guess what.
Batman: Could you ask that again, using a complete sentence with more words?
Dr. Young: (Groans) What do you want this-
: I'M BATMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!
Pinky: Who the fuck just hit me?
Black Belt Jones
: Batman, motherfucker!
— Black Belt Jones
"Hi... I'm Batman - FUCK! ...I'm... Bruce Wayne..." "[Don] Draper? No ones ever lifted that rock. He could be Batman for all we know."
Alex Trebek: Mr. Keaton.
Michael Keaton: ...I'm Batman.
: No, you are not.
Alex Trebek: Let's see what Mr. Keaton came up with, you wrote... "Val Kilmer sucks."
Michael Keaton: ...I'm Batman.
: Okay, and your wager... "George Clooney sucks."
Boy I am not Jeff. I am the Batman.
Mother: The Batman, would you like a chocolate milk?
Boy: Yes. Yes, the Batman would.
(Boy sits down with his chocolate milk. He keeps a stern look on his face as he sips the drink.)
*sips* Gotham is safe.
Steve: I don't believe this. How could they put me at the kids table? I'm 14.
Random Kid: I'm Batman.
"So Azrael's all like 'I'm Batman', and Tim's like 'No, you're not, you're Azrael', and then Azrael's like 'Jesus is Batman', and Tim's all 'What the fuck
are you talking about?'".
Master Shake: Guess who I am? [swings grappling hook] I'm Batman!
"Are you Batman?"
Who are you? Deadpool:
I never had to say
"I'm Batman". I showed up, people knew I was Batman. Everywhere I went on the TV show, mall openings... Julie Newmar
"Every mystery the universe has ever faced — from the streets of Gotham to the solar pits of Apokolips — he's solved them."
Bruce Wayne: Dad's estate left me wealthy. I am ready...but first I must have a disguise. Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible...a...a...
- As if in response, a huge bat flies in the open window!
Bruce Wayne: A bat! That's it! It's an omen. I shall become a BAT!
- And thus is born this weird creature of the dark...this avenger of evil; 'The Batman'
— The original origin of the Batman, Detective Comics #33.
Terry McGinnis: You don't know your way around here. A lot of things have changed.
Batman: Are criminals still superstitious and cowardly?
Old Bruce: Yup.
Good enough for me.
Circumstances aside, it was kind of enjoyable to be a kid again.
I haven't been a kid since I was eight years old.
Am I blue? / Am I blue? / Ain't these tears in my eyes telling you... It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me. Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil by the pale moonlight? Penguin: You don't really think you'll win, do you? Batman: Things change.
— Batman Returns
7 million. Never leave the cave without it. People think it's an obsession. A compulsion. It's never been like that. I chose this life. On any given day, I could stop. Today isn't that day. Tomorrow won't be either. All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb. "My world goes crazy sometimes."
— Batman, Detective Comics #475
"By the gods! You pursue me past your dying...! Are you man— Or fiend from hell?" "Yet we're linked, you and I. Like comedy and tragedy. Two sides, same coin." "It wasn't the money I wanted. It wasn't the action I sought. I just liked the attention."
— The Riddler, Detective Comics Annual #8, on why he is who he is.
"Why are we doing this? Because we are now two faces. One good, the other bad. Half-and-half. Fifty fifty. Opposite and equal. And we're deadlocked. When that happens... we let the coin decide."
, Batman Annual
#14, explaining his philosophy as he holds a gun to his abusive father
. The coin comes good-heads up just as Batman barges in.
"Bruce, you're Batman. You've lost your memory somehow, but you're this rich guy who dresses up in a costume to scare bad guys." An almost legendary figure, the cowled shadow of The Batman prowls through the night, preying upon the criminal parasite like the winged creature whose name he has adopted!
— The standard tagline accompanying each Batman front page, circa Strange Apparitions...
I made a promise on the grave of my parents to rid this city of the evil that took their lives. By day, I am Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthrophist. At night, criminals, a cowardly and superstitious lot, call me...BATMAN
Mr. Freeze: Tonight I mean to pay back the man who ruined my life...our lives...
Batman: Even if you have to kill everyone in the building to do it?
*nods* Think of it, Batman. To never again walk on a summer's day with a hot wind in your face, and a warm hand to hold
...oh yes. I'd kill
"There are times when I, too, disagree with Master Bruce's decisions. And when that happens, there's something I do that never fails to lift my spirits. I disobey him."
Harley: There's one thing I gotta know: why'd you stay with me all day? Risking your life for someone who's never given you anything but trouble?
Batman: I know what it's like to try and rebuild a life. (gives her the dress she paid for) I had a bad day too, once.
...Nice guys like you shouldn't have bad days. (kisses him on the cheek, turns away - then plants one on him)
— "Harley's Holiday"
When I was little, Cadmus used to make me play all kinds of games. They'd strap me into their machines and poke wires into my brain, "Ace, can you move this object with your mind?" (uproots a tree and launches it into the sky)
Yeah. I can move it. They weren't really games, you know. They were training me, turning me into a weapon — for "justice", they said. They got their weapon. I got cheated out of my childhood. Batman: I know what that's like. Ace:
You do, don't you? (smiles)
You don't have to answer. I've read your mind. That's how I knew you weren't going to use Mrs Waller's weapon on me. Batman:
No. I wasn't. (drops Waller's kill-switch) Ace:
You were going to try and talk me into fixing what I've changed...before I die. Batman:
...I'm dying very soon. Batman:
Yes... I'm sorry. Ace: (quietly, crying)
Would you stay with me
? I'm scared. (Batman sits next to her — when he offers his hand, she takes it)
You don't know the first thing about the American justice system, do you? Tim:
I know it's bogus. Bruce:
And how did you come to that well-thought-out conclusion? Tim:
Watching you. Bruce:
Batman: I imagine this is a unique opportunity for you. It must be odd for you to have the chance to catalog new levels of physical discomfort, as you rarely experience them.
Superman: What kind of masochist keeps track of the different kinds of pain they've -
Four hundred and ninety-six by my last count.
Batman: (on making Robin his sidekick at age nine) Robin needed to help bring the man who murdered his family to justice.
Wonder Woman: So he could turn out like you?
...So that he wouldn't.
: Yes, father. I shall become a bat.
"Ladies. Gentlemen. You have eaten well. You've eaten Gotham's wealth. Its spirit. Your feast is nearly over. From this moment on none of you are safe."
Superman: Big man in a Batsuit. Take that away, what are you?
Batman: A genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, detective, pilot, escape artist, master of disguise; fluent in Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Latin, German, Russian...mastered 127 styles of martial arts, including taekwondo, judo, muay thai, karate, boxing, jujitsu, ninjitsu...degrees in criminal science, forensics, computer science, chemistry, engineering, biology, advanced chemistry, technology...
More than anyone else in the world, when you scratch everything else away from Batman, you're left with someone who doesn't want to see anybody die. Young man, you have two seconds to remove your hands from my person before I remove them for you.
— Alfred Pennyworth
to the Goddamned Batman
, after the latter has grabbed him and shoved him against a wall, showing everyone that Batman is No Badass to His Valet
"Terry, I've been thinking about something you once told me, and you were wrong. It's not Batman that makes you worthwhile. It's the other way around. Never tell yourself anything different."
Robin: Whoa, does Batman live in Bruce Wayne's basement?
: No, Bruce Wayne lives in Batman's attic!
Its taken me years to accept what you told me back then, that you were there for me that night. Not as a vigilante swinging to the rescue, but as an ideal, as an inspiration. A voice I heard in darkness, commanding me to stand up. The same voice that tells us when we get beaten down, we can accept being a victim or choose to be the hero of our own stories. And we make that choice by standing up.
Batman is no noble hero. He isn't the person people look up to. He doesn't inspire others like Captain Steve Rogers
would, or cradle hope like Superman
can. He doesn't save a burning school bus full of kids that's going in the river. Batman isn't a hero
. Rather, he would mercilessly stalk the deranged psychopath that wants to use school buses as tinderboxes, haunt his dreams, catch him when he least expects it, and burn a hole through his non-existent soul.
This is by deliberate choice and design. Bruce Wayne protects a city that murdered his parents for no reason at all. A city where good people are a fiction. They are either too scared to do the right thing, too smart to live anywhere else but in Gotham...or, like Martha and Thomas, dead.
Gotham City is so insidiously corrupt and broken beyond repair
that it does not deserve a savior anymore. Ras Al Ghul did have a point there
: no city which can murder a billionaire husband and wife in front of their only child on a cold, meaningless night deserves to be saved. Batman is the product of a city whose terrors and demons can only be fought by an equally terrible monster. A frightening, inhuman creature of the night. Not a hero. Not a guardian angel. Not a Messianic redeemer.
He is what Gotham deserves
. He is a Dark Knight
For eight decades, hes been invading our comic shops, TV sets, and movie theaters in his never-ending quest to rid Gotham City of the criminal element. (Although, if hes still fighting the mentally insane after 80 years and Gotham still isnt cleaned up, maybe hes not doing such a great job after all.) "How can the world know fear true dread when there is you? A stalwart knight, ever ready to slay monsters. Fear isnt true biology, Batman. Its more than instinct. True fear is the absence of hope. And hope is the spread wings of a bat, shining in the clouds."
Thug: "The hell are you supposed to be?"
"Batman as a traumatized vigilante haunted by the death of his parents is a recent thing. It sounds crazy because of course having dead parent is Batman's most recognizable trait, but in his intial characterization he wasn't traumatized, he was motivated. He went through something horrible and decided he would devote his life to guaranteeing that nobody would have to go through something like that ever again...by dressing up like a bat and punching crime in the face. The modern version where the death of his parents' death haunts him and twists him into a nightstalking monster is recent. And you know something? This is all Alan Moore's fault. As a much as I appreciate The Killing Joke, it unintentionally sparked the idea that deep down, Batman and Joker were the same. That they were both broken men driven by tragedy beyond the limits of sanity. But Alan Moore didn't mean for that to be the takeaway from the comic. In
The Killing Joke the Joker is
wrong. His premise that all it takes is one bad day to become exactly like him is blatantly disproven, both by Batman and Jim Gordon. [...] The idea that Batman does what he does because he's cracked completely defeats the purpose of his character. He does what he does because he knows what it's like to be powerless, so he takes it upon himself to be the power that helps the powerless. A good sign of whether or not your Batman is being characterized properly is as follows: Could you picture this Batman comforting a scared child? If yes, congratulations! This a certified Batman. If not, I'm afraid you instead have The Punisher in a silly hat."