Batman is a fictional character, a comic book superhero appearing in comic books published
by DC Comics. Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared
in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Originally referred to as "the Bat-Man" and still referred to
at times as "the Batman", the character is additionally known as "the Caped Crusader",
Dark Knight",
and "the World's Greatest Detective",
among other titles.
Batman is the secret identity of Bruce Wayne, an American billionaire, industrialist, and
philanthropist. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on
criminals, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically
and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime.
Batman operates in
the fictionalGotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his crime-fighting
partner, Robin, his butler Alfred Pennyworth, the police commissioner Jim Gordon, and
occasionally the heroine Batgirl. He fights an assortment of villains, often referred to as the
"rogues gallery", which includes the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Ra's al
Ghul, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, andCatwoman, among many others. Unlike most superheroes, he
does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and
technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation
in his continuous war on crime.
Batman became a very popular character soon after his introduction and gained his own comic
book title, Batman, in 1940. As the decades wore on, differing interpretations of the character
emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a campaesthetic which continued to be
associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return
the character to his dark roots, with varying results. The comic books of this dark stage
culminated in the acclaimed 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller, as well
as Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious
Earth by Grant Morrison, among others. The overall success of Warner Bros.' live-
action Batmanfeature films have also helped maintain public interest in the character.

An American cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from
radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world such
as toys and video games. The character has also intrigued psychiatrists with many trying to
understand the character's psyche and his true ego in society. In May 2011, Batman placed
second on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time,
after Superman. Empire magazine
also listed him second in their 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time. The character
has been portrayed in films by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Kevin
Conroy, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and soon by Ben Affleck.