Batman is an ongoing comic book series featuring the DC Comics flagship hero of the same name. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27, published in May 1939; Batman proved to be so popular that a self-titled ongoing comic book series began publication in the spring of 1940.
Batman's (1939–current) secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy industrialist, playboy, and philanthropist. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child, Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional American Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his sidekick Robin and his butler Alfred Pennyworth, and fights an assortment of villains influenced by the characters' roots in film and pulp magazines. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.
Detective Comics vol. 1
- Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible...
- Batman The Batman Wars Against the Dirigible of Doom Detective Comics #33 (November 1939), written by Bill Finger
- I believe in Jim Gordon. I believe in Harvey Dent. I believe in Gotham City.
- [To Superman] I want you to remember Clark, In all the years to come, in your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat, I want you to remember the one man who beat you.
- [To Mutant Leader] You don't get it, boy... this isn't a mudhole... it's an operating table. And I'm the surgeon.
- by Frank Miller
- Sometimes it's only madness that makes us what we are.
- Criminals are a terror. Hearts of the night. I must disguise my terror. Criminals are cowardly. A superstitious terrible omen. A cowardly lot. My disguise must strike terror. I must be black. Terrible. Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot. I must be a creature. I must be a creature of the night. Mommy's dead. Daddy's dead. Brucie's dead. I shall become a bat.
- That vase was from the Ming Dynasty. Alfred will forgive me... eventually.
- Batman: (to the Joker) Hello. I came to talk. I've been thinking lately. About you and me. About what's going to happen to us in the end. We're going to kill each other, aren't we? Perhaps you'll kill me. Perhaps I'll kill you. Perhaps sooner. Perhaps later.
- Batman: (to the Joker) Don't you understand? I don't want to hurt you. I don't want either of us to end up killing the other. But we're both running out of alternatives, and we both know it. Maybe it all hinges on tonight. Maybe this is our last chance to sort this whole bloody mess out. If you don't take it, then we're both locked onto a suicide course. Both of us. To the death. It doesn't have to end like that. I don't know what it was that bent your life out of shape, but who knows? Maybe I've been there too. Maybe I can help. We could work together. I could rehabilitate you. You needn't be out there on the edge anymore. You needn't be alone. We don't have to kill each other. What do you say?
- Without warning, it comes...crashing through the window of your study, and mine...I have seen it before...somewhere. It frightened me as a boy... frightened me. 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.
- I made a promise on the grave of my parents that I would rid this city of the evil that took their lives. By day, I am Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist. At night, criminals, a cowardly and superstitious lot, call me... Batman.
- Criminals, by nature, are a cowardly and superstitious lot. To instill fear into their hearts, I became a bat. A monster in the night. And in doing so, have I become the very thing that all monsters become - alone?
- Deep down, Clark's essentially a good person... and deep down, I'm not.
- They say that when you kill a man you not only take away what he was, but all he will ever be.
- I have been to too many funerals.
- by Jeph Loeb with art by Jim Lee
- People think it's an obsession. A compulsion. As if there were an irresistible impulse to act. It's never been like that. I chose this life. I know what I'm doing. And on any given day, I could stop doing it. Today, however, isn't that day. And tomorrow won't be either.
- (to Superman) Everyone looks up to you. They listen to you. If you tell them to fight, they'll fight. But they need to be inspired. And let's face it "Superman"... the last time you really inspired anyone -- was when you were dead.
- (to the Joker) And when you're sitting here alone in the middle of the night, unsleeping in the dark, remember -- every breath you take you owe to me.
- And as the sun, that had been too afraid to show its face in this city, started to turn the black into grey, I smiled. Not out of happiness. But because I knew... that one day, I wouldn't have to do this anymore. One day, I could stop fighting. Because one day... I would win. One day, there will be no pain, no loss, no crime. Because of me, because I fight. For you. One day, I will win.
- Did I finally reach the limits of reason? And find the Devil waiting? And was that fear in his eye?
Other quotable characters