The Batman remains an enigma even within Gotham City, despite being an active hero for more than a decade. Gotham, once the worst haven for organized crime in the nation, has become a city where the mob fears the shadows.. even as more colorful villains seek to seize the city for themselves. Few have actually seen the Bat operate, and even less evidence proves he exists-- but many in Gotham, and the superhero community at large, have begun to realize just what this one relentless man is capable of. Once a lone wolf, Batman has developed a network of allies and proteges into a nigh-legendary, some would say infamous, crime-fighting network.
Brilliance: 6, Conditioning: 3-4, Perception: 7, Willpower: 7
Applied Sciences: 7, Come Nightfall: 9, Detective: 10, Martial Arts: 9, Tactics: 8
Armory: 6, Batcomputer: 9, Batsuit: 4, Batsuit Variants: 5, Collection, Hangar: 6, Security: 4, Utility Belt: 4
Advantages: Allies and Contacts, Eidetic Memory, Intimidating Mythos, Languages, Shelters, Wayne Enterprises
Flaws: Allies, Batcave, Dark Knight, Defining Trauma, Enemies, Guilt, Identity, Isolation, Morality, Mortality, Obsession, The Mark, Uncompromising
Languages: ASL, Cantonese, Egyptian, English, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish
Attribute: Brilliance (6)
Even in his early 20s, Bruce Wayne had established himself readily as an expert in engineering, physics, chemistry, linguistics, cryptology, biology, psychology, criminology, forensics, computer security, business enterprise, espionage and meteorology. amongst other disciplines. He has mastered several martial arts, invented his own and is learned in hundreds more. People often have a hard time believing he is human. In truth, his abiilities seem exaggerated, but every last bit of it is real.
The only way to explain the depth and breadth of ability and natural talent that Bruce displays is that he is simply a prodigy and a genius at what he does. Bruce Wayne is an example of genius obsession--that is, a monomaniacal drive to accomplish one thing and in so doing, master everything pertinent to that one thing. The crossroads of his competency and his persistence leyline and magnify his ability to acquire and retain skills. His ability to grasp the most abstract concepts is uncanny when it has to do with solving a puzzle, or getting closer to becoming what he needs to be to eradicate crime. Because he is never satisfied, and because his intelligence is seemingly so miraculous in nature, Batman never stops analyzing, absorbing and retaining, becoming better with every passing day.
Attribute: Conditioning (3-4)
Note: Batman is 4 Dexterity, 3 Strength and 3 Toughness.
Batman exists at the physical peak of human conditioning, due to a tireless training regimen both specific to his body and in the martial arts. Fast, strong and tough, the feats that Batman can pull off are almost implausible by human standards. His ability is Olympic-level in every range and the amount of punishment his body can withstand is unnatural when compared to most humans. Decades of fighting has given him an unusually strong constitution and strength against toxins, injury, pain, torture, diseases, poisons, fatigue and other malaises of all stripes. While he is still ultimately human, many have reason to question after they see just how long it actually takes Batman to succumb to the limits of his own body, and what he actually can survive and overcome.
Attribute: Perception (7)
Batman's perception is one of his strongest physical capabilities, where his reflexes, reasoning and physical acumen intersect to give him a near-superhuman perception of his surroundings. His alertness borders on the limits of human ability, allowing him to spot even the slightest give, tell or clue to alert him that something is amiss, or demands his attention. Sneaking up on him is a very, very hard thing to do, and hiding something from him is intensely difficult.
Attribute: Willpower (7)
Mentally, Bruce Wayne is in an entirely different realm from most humans. His mind is a tortured place, warped and twisted by his obsessions and his disciplines. Batman exists as a fully fledged mental construct in his mind, and his borderline obsession with strength, isolation and discipline has manifested itself in the form of a highly compartmentalized and guarded mind. Attempts to shake, horrify, tempt or unnerve him often meet with failure--Batman has become inured to horrors both natural and unnatural by repeated exposure over the course of his career.
Bruce Wayne reacts instinctively and occasionally even consciously to attempts to breach the sanctity of his mind, responding with all of the horrors he has taken up since the mantle of the Batman came into existence, making it agonizing to try and gain control over him. He has trained to resist psionics and many serums--his sense of self is so ingrained in who he is that even if one can dominate him, removal of his will and even his memories might not actually get rid of Batman.
Skill: Applied Sciences (7)
It is unreal how much he knows. Despite being physically one of the world's most dangerous combatants in close quarters, the compromise Batman makes mentally is minimal to nonexistent. He is a vastly educated student of the applied sciences, with degrees in criminology, forensics, computer science, chemistry and engineering. His focus is on the criminal sciences and the application of applied sciences to crime, but he also has a healthy underpinning in medicine, biology, physics and computer security.
The practical application of this is that Batman isn't just a skilled user of his own gadgets--he is an active inventor and innovator, responsible for the upkeep, upgrade and general maintenance of his various sets of state-of-the-art equipment. This extends further to the field, where survival might mean the ability to objectively view problems and ideate solutions on the fly. Deductive reasoning and analysis aids him here, as he is able to apply his knowledge both inside and outside of the laboratory to obsolete unorthodox threats. With a little bit of time, he can synthesize an antidote to a new and alien poison, or reverse engineer the death-trap he or one of his allies might be caught in to bypass it.
Skill: Come Nightfall (9)
He is a hunter. With his status as a favored son training underneath the League of Assassins and some of the best minds in the world, Batman's skill with obfuscation, illusion and deception know comparitive few equals. Tempered by years of escaping death-traps, his skills in this area are myriad: They range from disguise, stealth, pickpocketing, deception, misdirection, sleight of hand and escapology to countersecurity, covert trespassing, covert surveillance, electronic and structural sabotage, and, alarmingly, meteorology. His capacity is both broad and deep, and he can be considered beyond a seasoned expert in any one of these traits, with no real weakness or limitation to speak of where pure skill and conditioning are concerned.
Beyond even the shinobi, he is intimately familiar with the unique mix of speed, rhythm, body control, cover and timing needed to assure that he is never seen, even if you're staring right at him. The number of mechanical restraints or safeguards in the world that can hold him at bay for longer than a few minutes can likely be counted on one hand. With a talent for disguise, he isn't even appreciably limited in broad daylight. When it comes to the principles of stealth and striking skillfully and unseen from both the literal and the metaphorical dark, he is one of the most skilled humans on Earth.
Skill: Detective (10)
Amongst those who are aware he exists at all, he is known as the World's Greatest Detective. The idea of Batman was forged in a young child's mind after coming face to face with a criminal that stole his life and was never caught. The apprehension and subjugation of criminals is the entire reason that the Batman exists, and he lives and breathes solely to track down and capture those who do evil.
Batman is truly at his finest when analyzing the details of a crime or the behaviors of a criminal, and of those details there are few that escape his notice. Because of the way his suspicious mind works, correlations are simple for him to find. Working from inside the mind of criminals, this force of elemental deductive reasoning allows him to apply decades worth of dedicated criminal study and science to the most frivolous clue and use it to build a hypothesis upon which investigation can commence. And never end, until the perpetrators responsible are found and brought to justice.
Skill: Martial Arts (9)
Deadeyed: Batman's skill is greatest when he has a ranged weapon such as his Batarangs. Even without tech, his perception, focus and dexterity let him draw in an eyeblink and hit any mark even distracted and from long range, knocking a gun from someone's hand or throwing a distant switch.
When you have nothing left, the first thing you learn how to do is fight. It would be simple to say that Batman has trained underneath men who would be called masters in the arts of reasoned force, that he is one of the most skilled men, and it would be true. But it would not be enough. Batman is something more, something elemental. Throughout his life, Bruce Wayne has wandered the world, obsessively seeking out and wandering foreign slums where his name meant nothing, where no one would ever find him if he died. He has survived the streets of Gotham, and every other dark street besides. Training to perfection in countless violent arts and familiar with countless more, he has built a formidable arsenal of armed and unarmed techniques and disciplines, familiar with and effective against hundreds of styles from around the world. His brutal but nonlethal style uses every distraction, every shadow, every weapon and every part of his body to make it immaterial whether the enemy is stronger or larger, one or one hundred. Without qualification, he is one of the world's most dangerous men in close quarters.
Skill: Tactics (8)
It is unreal how much he knows. Despite being physically one of the world's most dangerous combatants in close quarters, the compromise Batman makes mentally is minimal to nonexistent. He is a vastly educated student of the applied sciences, with degrees in criminology, forensics, computer science, chemistry and engineering. His focus is on the criminal sciences and the application of applied sciences to crime, but he also has a healthy underpinning in medicine, biology and physics.
The practical application of this is that Batman isn't just a skilled user of his own gadgets--he is an active inventor and innovator, responsible for the upkeep, upgrade and general maintenance of his various sets of state-of-the-art equipment. This extends further to the field, where survival might mean the ability to objectively view problems and ideate solutions on the fly. Deductive reasoning and analysis aids him here, as he is able to apply his knowledge both inside and outside of the laboratory to obsolete unorthodox threats. With a little bit of time, he can synthesize an antidote to an new and alien poison, or reverse engineer the death-trap he or one of his allies might be caught in to bypass it.
Tech: Armory (6)
As Batman's ability and scope grew to encompass not just the criminal slums of Gotham but the high powered world of metahumans that set foot there, Batman became aware of the need for ever escalating means to deal with crime at all possible levels. Using the various military arms of Wayne Enterprises and a massive covert distributed supply network, Batman's furnished himself with quite the supply of weapons of varying neutralizing capacity.
Because of his wealth, his natural abilities and his access to the vast resources and knowledge base of Wayne Enterprises, Batman is functionally only limited by the very cutting edge of what Earth's technology can offer in terms of technology and weapons. Because they would be useless against the intended target and lethal to anything less, Batman explicitly doesn't carry assault rifles or other guns of the traditional and mundane stripe. Instead, Batman has strange and highly customized prototype weapons, capable of firing ranges of state-of-the-art ammunition.
While his weapons are commonly hand-held, many can be vehicle mounted. Tailored to specific purposes, his ordinance includes but is not limited to electromagnetic pulse, traditional ballistic, electrical, thermal and even advanced cryogenic types of weapons. Chemical compounds with a variety of effects and even electronic warfare engagement weapons such as logic bombs and other viral programs are not beyond him.
Tech: Batcomputer (9)
A massive supercomputer housed in the Batcave deep beneath Wayne Manor, the Batcomputer is the nerve center for all of Batman's gadgetry and information resources. One of the most advanced Earth computers, if not the most advanced single computer in the world right now, the Batcomputer is uplinked to a lot of Batman's equipment, and via encrypted broadband streams, performs almost all of the heavy lifting for Batman's various artificially intelligent algorithms and cryptography. It also serves as a massive forensics and criminal database, containing pertinent information on any potential threat Batman has ever observed, faced or researched before. As Batman regards everything as pertinent and everyone as a potential threat, one can imagine the breadth and scope of his database.
However, as technology marches on, the Batcomputer has become something of an ironic misnomer, as the Batcomputer is only at the center of a massive distributed computing network modularly linking all of Batman's various safehouses and caches together, affectionately referred to as the 'BatNet.' Relentlessly secured with all of the fervor of a distrustful obsessive, the Batcomputer and its child networks are secured primarily through isolation, with nodal/cellular architecture capable of automatically isolating compromised networks and links long before they ever reach the Batcomputer, and Batman regularly performs active and passive systems sweeps to assure the security of his various networks. The network is linked to the outside world through an obscure and complicated cavalcade of dummy and slave systems, with many customized breaches into various other networks thought to be completely secure.
Constantly breaking the encryptions of secured transmissions both locally in Gotham and globally, Batman has access or can gain access to almost any mundane police or government database in the world in a matter of minutes, if that, and there are few frequencies that he cannot monitor. Or hasn't already been monitoring for years.
Tech: Batsuit (4)
Any one of several highly customized combat and surveillance suits worn by Batman. Designed with maximum survival and infiltration capacities in mind, the Batsuits draw on technology that easily matches advanced military specifications. As a form of stealth armor, the Batsuit inhibits detection for the wearer in a variety of spectrums. Through a combination of environmental and biological aural dampening, urban camouflage styling, silhouette obfuscation, thermal suppression and limited olfactory profiling, you can barely see, hear, smell or detect Batman when he doesn't want to be seen. He is a ghost without a heartbeat.
Maintaining an ongoing link to the Batcomputer, the cowl of the Batsuit is the command center for Batman's war on crime, offering an advanced HUD-enabled communications and sensory suite. The onboard processors and receiver/transmitters in his cowl are capable of transmission interception, encryption, decryption, and advanced telescopic imaging in low-light, thermal, ultraviolet and electromagnetic spectrums.
The subject of constant optimization and improvement, the Batsuit greatly benefits from load balancing and materials science, and has a limited effect on Batman's agility or physical capability in any way. Built largely from carbon fiber, Nomex and nonconductive lightweight ceramic plate, the Batsuit has a low general weight while being extremely resistant to fire, small firearms, tasers and knives. Additionally, this construction offers a lesser grade of protection against radiation and chemicals. The boots, cowl and gauntlets of the suit are made of higher stress ceramic armor. These points are able to withstand more focused assaults, with weaponized sword-breaking fins attached to the gauntlets. Even his cape is not fully theatric--while proof from explosions, fire and shrapnel, a controlled electric charge can realign the cape's molecules into a load-bearing airframe, allowing Batman to glide or parachute from high places with relative ease.
Tech: Batsuit Variants (5)
While the standard version of the Batsuit is proof enough for urban occasions, several environment-specific variants exist. The main hazards he has specific suits to deal with involve temperature extremes, radiation, biohazard, aquatic and space/vaccuum environments. Generally speaking, if Batman has reasonable suspicion that a hazard will be encountered in advance, he can prepare a suit to counter some of the most debilitating effects of that environment. Additionally, full on combat survival %(so-called 'hardened' or armored suits%) of the Batsuit do exist for situations of extreme risk, but tend to compromise in carrying capacity and stealth to keep the suit's weight manageable.
Limit: Never be willing to use anything you're not prepared to lose. Due to the extreme risk inherent to dredging up rare items that were locked up for the express purpose of keeping it out of prying hands, Batman is unlikely to resort to these ends until no other option exists. (Plot ability ONLY)
It is said he has a plan for everything. As a part of his armory, Batman is known to keep a diverse collection of oddities and technological marvels confiscated or stolen from criminals over the years he's spent at war with crime. Most of these items are merely oddities and conversation pieces which have already been reverse engineered for addition to his standing arsenal--a freeze ray being incorporated into a cryogenic bomb is a prime example of this.
Some things are exceptions. Some of those things Batman keeps under lock and key are so dangerous that if they were to fall into evil hands, the results would be disastrous. Other items are specific countermeasures against indomitable opponents--Batman is not above keeping a sliver of Kryptonite handy for dealing with rogue Kryptonians...
Many other baubles and alien devices thought to be lost have been secreted away, either to keep them out of evil hands, or to answer threats no one ever thought were real.
Tech: Hangar (6)
Built on the backs of various cutting-edge prototypes and technologies reserved from mothballed Wayne Enterprises projects, Batman maintains a highly diverse set of armored vehicles to aid in the war on crime. These include the Batwing, several Batcycles, the Batboat, and the Batmobile, his signature stealth cruiser. All of them are outfitted with a heavy emphasis on stealth and urban mobility, making them highly fast, maneuverable, and extremely difficult to detect via radar, thermal profiles, electromagnetic signatures or even traditional sight or sound.
First and foremost, his vehicles are intended to be mobile deployment platforms, increasing his range and operational capacities. Much like everything else he owns, his vehicles are modular, able to be fitted with any degree of mission-specific equipment or weapons, up to and including detachable auxilary vehicles. They are all linked to the Batcomputer, and sophisticated autonomous piloting allows Batman to control them remotely. While this does allow for distraction and intimidation through complex targetting algorithms and the various weapons mounted on each, Batman chiefly uses the autopilot on his vehicles to deliver gear through secured drop-pods when out in the field for extended periods of time.
Tech: Security (4)
Somewhat owed to a man billed as obsessively secretive and distrusting, Batman has multiple fail-safes and countermeasures built into many of his devices and gadgets. Some, like his cowl and his utility belt, are 'merely' reinforced with complicated trick latches and electric charges to delay and punish unauthorized removal attempts, and weapons have reverse safeties which tase individuals attempting to use them instead of firing, or cause them to shut down entirely. However, things such as his various vehicles are equipped with full subordinated control systems in addition to the standard security suite. These systems are uplinked to and secured by the Batcomputer. Many can self-sabotage or shut down with an encrypted signal. Together, all of this makes it hard to steal or commandeer anything of Batman's more elaborate than his most basic batarangs.
Tech: Utility Belt (4)
The armored belt Batman wears is a partitioned storage and security system for his crimefighting tools and weapons. Also benefitting from the optimizations of the Batsuit, the host of devices Batman carries are generally minaturized or customized in some way to attach to the modular hardpoints and compartments of the belt.
The exact gear Batman will carry varies by mission, but some items persist. Generally, he carries a tractor-capable, smart-surfacing grapple gun; EM/laser jamming controls to interrupt unshielded electronics/lighting; an array of compounds and kits pursuant to forensics, first aid, minor repairs, climbing and covert surveillance/tracking; and of course, various apprehension weapons and peripherals. An assortment of low-shrapnel microgrenades and a pneumatic gel applicator gun form the assortment's core, along with a number of Batarangs, a kind of throwing weapon.
Most of his weapons are modular or typed and accept various compounds and attachments as payloads or guidance/trip systems. Restraints, explosives, smokescreens, surveillance, electric, anesthetics, thermals, sonic/photodistractions, even combinations thereof can be deployed either conventionally, by remote or proximity trigger, or even via automatic or manual guidance.
Advantage: Allies and Contacts
While he was destined to be a mover and shaker in the world of commerce and politics by the birthright of the supercorporation Wayne Enterprises, Bruce Wayne's contacts end with the sunset, and Batman's begins when the moon rises. Through equal parts tenacity, cunning and sheer bloody-mindedness, Batman has built an extremely dense network of contacts, from the common street snitch to infrastructure with the local police office and their commissioner Jim Gordon.
His butler, Alfred Pennyworth, is of special note: An accomplished servant, a brave man and someone with many hidden skills and talents, has been Bruce's caretaker, guardian and confidante for years. Alfred helps him in many situations where a second set of hands and the utmost discretion is required, and occasionally functions as an emotional ground for the often-isolated Bruce.
Still, his days of being a cavalier are long behind him. As time went on, Batman acquired a number of proteges and allies in his fight against evil, and though they may never be fully aware of the extent, he supports them in every way. Part of what being Batman means is protecting the innocent, empowering the good, and striking terror into the hearts of the wicked. Batman is very good at all three, and uses his myriad connections and resources to empower both his own hunt, and the hunt of everyone who believes.
Advantage: Eidetic Memory
A key factor in Batman's towering intellect is his ability to recall anything and everything that he has learned. Though a natural ability that he was born with, he has since honed it into a mental reference base from which he can pull up anything he has seen or heard with a moment's notice. His memory is not infallible and can be affected by psionic incursion just as much as anybody else's, but that is why he keeps the Batcomputer.
Advantage: Intimidating Mythos
They all have a phobia. Criminals aren't complicated, they thrive off of submission and weakness, eating at the underbelly of society. Batman has spent much time analyzing his enemies psychologically, and has trained on how to capitalize on their deepest, darkest fears. He is an elemental creature of the night through to his very core, and can crush an enemy's confidence in their own superiority oftentimes with minimal action. The aura of confusion that Batman has fostered throughout the years about the exact extent of his abilities has given him a nigh-superhuman patina of brutality and invulnerability throughout the streets of Gotham, and even the slightest insecurity or uncertainty is magnified a hundredfold when Batman is at work. There aren't very many people who can successfully resist his charm for long.
Though not well known, Batman's ability to terrify people in any language is mystifying. Through his travels throughout the world, Bruce Wayne was able to pick up the native tongues, writing and dialects of many countries, fluently speaking Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Latin, German, Japanese, Russian, and obviously his native English. He can even read Egyptian hieroglyphics--language is something he has a knack for, extending into an advanced capacity for cryptography and linguistics, making him an astute code-cracker. With time, there are very few Earthly languages he can't decipher.
Before the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne spent the majority of his formative years in Wayne Manor, a luxurious mansion on the riverside cliffs outside Gotham City. After their death, the house seemed to be a mausoleum to him, until he became Batman. Though the Manor itself has no notable benefits other than being implausibly easy to maintain, it is host to a vast subterranean network of cave systems called the Batcave. Equipped with state-of-the-art forensics labs, telecommunications suites, living quarters, equipment lockers, secured vaults and hangars for his various vehicles, it functions as Batman's main base of operations.
Though the Batcave is the nerve center for Batman's operations, he maintains multiple satellite shelters, staging zones and hideaways throughout Gotham and even globally, each well-hidden and outfitted with its own distinct security, equipment cache and redundant computer systems. This cellular strategy allows him the flexibility to host and stage missions wherever he needs, as well as offering less sensitive locations and holding areas for allies or enemies.
Advantage: Wayne Enterprises
The Wayne Family's wealth, combined assets valuing well into the billions, is of the kind that's been handed down from generation to generation, largely in the form of a massive multi-industry conglomerate called Wayne Enterprises. A corporate group with scores of subsidiaries and affiliated companies running the gamut from food, railroads, heavy industry, military weapons, extraterrestrial research, entertainment, biotech, shipping, aerospace and a host of other specialties, Wayne Enterprises is a massive and sprawling empire with influence not just in Gotham City, but in America as a whole. Lucius Fox is the current CEO, but Bruce Wayne maintains some semblance of quiet influence through a seat on the board, as well as a--the, really--majority share in the company.
Because of this, Bruce Wayne has the sort of wealth, contacts and resources that simply cannot be exhausted. Because of Wayne Enterprise's vast reach, there is little that happens in corporate America that he wouldn't be able to find out about, and many prototypes that Wayne Enterprises develops are secretly diverted for Batman's use. In short, Bruce Wayne has the sort of money to fund his crimefighting operation along with several others and still have vastly more than enough left over at the end of the week to maintain his image as a glamorous corporate playboy.
Despite preferring to work in relative isolation, Batman is at the center of a group of individuals which he works and associates with to fight crime. Some can even be said to be a form of surrogate family for him, and though they may never know it, he does care deeply for them. The problem is, many of the people closest to him also wear masks and work alongside him, making them easily discernible targets in relation to the Batman in times when the Batman himself proves invulnerable. This is one case where Bruce's isolation makes sense. Because many of the people closest to him are also peripherally related to Bruce Wayne, their secret identities are also in a form his secret identity--if one is revealed, it increases the likelihood that all will be revealed.
While one of the most secure and safe places in Gotham, the Batcave is a unique kind of weakness for the Batman simply because of its astounding secrecy and security. Many of Batman's most dangerous weapons and advantages are hidden away within its cavernous interior, making those who know about and have access to it privileged beyond a means of normal contingency. It is also a lucrative site of obvious armament for anyone smart enough to breach it, and evidence of Batman's secret identity. While it would be foolish to think that Batman has no contingency plans to retake, isolate, marginalize or otherwise resecure the Batcave in the event of a security breach, the Batcave is such a strategically important location for Batman and his allies that any attempt at all to locate and cripple it would be enough to momentarily split Batman's attention away from his war on crime.
Flaw: Dark Knight
When you've stood in the darkness for so long, the light can be blinding. The Batman is a figure of unparallelled mythos, especially throughout the streets of Gotham, more of a legend than a person. As a result, his identity tends to take on the worst fears and suspicions of the beholder. He is the creature destined to be a nightmare for the worst people imaginable. The Batman is not a charismatic or well-spoken thing. He is a terrifying one. Waging a shadow war with the worst elements of people has its price. Even law abiding citizens and police officers can be terrified or adversarial towards him. Even he himself is not immune to the stresses of the night--Bruce constantly struggles with the prices he pays for the strength he's gained, and the temptation to fall so far into the night that it and his anger consume him entirely is an everpresent risk.
Flaw: Defining Trauma
Some say that Bruce Wayne died that day as well. Bruce Wayne's life, and the formation of the Batman himself, is defined entirely by "the singular event of seeing his parents brutally murdered right before his eyes." No matter how infallible Batman may seem, no matter how cavalier Bruce Wayne might seem, this trauma haunts him to this very day, in the form of crippling nightmares and sleepless nights. Some think that the Batman was conjured by Bruce Wayne as a method of dealing with these internal traumas, and some think that his commitment to justice is merely a security to empower himself in the light of that helplessness.
There are few who think that his outlook on his life is a healthy and stable way to live, but all of his passion and drive derive elementally from that moment. He can be controlled in this way, his anger quelled or stoked with the manipulation of that defining tragedy that created everything who he is today.
Working for as long as Batman has, with his terror-inducing methods and persecuting nature, it's unsurprising that he's gained a long long list of powerful enemies, all of which are constantly on watch for the slightest weakness in Batman's vigil. Many are incurably insane, and arguably may have become even more so because of the phobias Batman instills in them. While most pennythieves on the streets don't stand a chance against him, the escalation theory does have its merits--to be a tangible threat to Batman, you have to be much stronger and smarter than the average criminal, and many high-class criminals originating from Gotham tend to be obsessed with either avoiding, outsmarting or killing him in some way. For everything Batman represents, there is a darker, murderous bent to it represented by the criminals he fights nightly.
Additionally, because of his vow of nonlethality, his enemies never die, they only multiply.
Batman fights against numerous criminals who do not possess his moral code. Every time he lets a villain live and that villain goes on to kill or seriously injure someone else, he counts himself as responsible. With the sheer number of people his rogues' gallery have slain since he first became Batman, he remembers them all by virtue of an eidetic memory and they weigh heavily upon him. A man of less fortitude would break under the pressure and even Batman is haunted by nightmares of those he believes he has failed.
While Bruce's secret identity serves a peripheral purpose of keeping the few civilians he knows and cares about safe from the persecution of his enemies and as a result is a potential weak point, Bruce Wayne's secret identity goes much further than the concept of the mask. His trauma and his mission are so deeply ingrained in him that a normal life really left the equation for him a long time ago. At some point it does become a question of where Bruce Wayne ends and Batman begins, or if Bruce Wayne even exists at all. The question disturbs many of Bruce Wayne's closest friends..
Working alone for the majority of his career, Batman has always been a lone wolf, preferring to work in self-imposed isolation from the world. While that's changed in recent years with the adoption and training of several proteges to carry on the symbology and justice of Batman, old habits never die. Batman is slow to trust, and even when he gives his trust and his consent, there are parts of him that are always closed off and inaccessible. Inscrutable to a fault, this repression makes it hard to tell if Wayne actually cares, even when he does. It's easier to imagine that he has feelings than it is to find out, forming the underpinnings of potential alienation. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to endure that--a certain kind of person, and a measure of truth and faith. Because in the end, nobody really knows what or who Bruce Wayne really is.
He is all too aware of the fragility of human life. The morality--the identity of Batman as Bruce Wayne has forged him in his mind--is a being that upholds justice by any means necessary. The definition of that has a lot to do with harm. Death is such a trigger for Bruce Wayne that he decided long ago that Batman should never kill another living being, that that wasn't what his justice would be and that it was the final barrier between righteous justice and pointless vengeance or violence.
This trait isn't well known amongst many of Gotham's rank and file, but those less sane with repeated exposure to the Batman will inevitably notice an unerring lapse in his lethality. He doesn't kill, and he never prepares to kill, going so far so as to limit and check his own preparations to mind bystanders, hostages and even the lives of his enemies--he never uses more than is needed. A large portion of his skill and strength are entirely devoted to protecting the people from the violence and ravages of criminality and he will endure any cost to ensure it.
This trait is so ingrained in Batman that he is unable to turn away from it, simply because it takes an ironclad will and morality to hold in check such limitless anger and relentless violence. As a result, if he ever were to be responsible for someone else's death, even accidentally or indirectly, the blow to him would be crippling.
Batman catalogues every kind of pain he has felt for future reference, ranging from the mild discomfort of being too cold to the searing pain of a bullet wound. Since he began his training he has suffered innumerable broken bones, cuts, bruises and other physical trauma. The medical care he provides himself or receives from Alfred Pennyworth and Leslie Thompkins has been top notch, but not every wound heals completely. He is willful and physically robust enough to ignore old war wounds through the course of his nightly crusades, but he is still a mortal man and capable of feeling pain. Attacks that focus on the sites of old injuries or wounds not yet healed can cause especially sharp pains, perhaps even giving him pause or rendering him momentarily incapable.
The Batman does not get tired, the Batman does not show mercy and the Batman does not stop. There is nothing in Bruce that knows the meaning of the term 'relent' or 'half-measure.' There is no such thing as a cold case for him. There is no part of Batman that is permissive or soft on crime, as the Bat is an incorruptible entity. A crime is a crime, and justice will be sought. If you steal, swindle or kill in Gotham and get Batman's attention, God help you, because he won't.
However, like everything about Batman, a normally admirable trait is a weakness when taken to an absolute extreme. Batman cannot ignore details, to a pathological extent, and is only satisfied when he understands everything completely. As a result, his investigations are exhaustive, leaving no stone unturned. This means that he can be easily distracted from putting all of his resources towards a larger problem by examining minutiae whose relevance is only important to him. This trait also alienates others who may be seeking redemption amongst Batman's circle--Batman never forgets and never forgives evil.
Flaw: The Mark
Deception and theatricality are powerful agents, and Batman makes use of every aspect of his abilities to leverage the egotism, fear, guilt, phobia and terror that is rooted in the minds of every criminal. But these agents, though powerful, are only useful if the mark believes, or can be manipulated in some way by their lack of belief. The enemies that pose the most danger to Batman are brave enough to believe that he is human, but also smart enough not to let it go to their heads.
To serve the ideal of justice, there is no room for complaining, no room for weakness. Wayne is uncompromising, expecting only the best from himself and everyone around him. His belief system is such that if he fosters weakness in his allies, he is only generating a foothold for criminals to take advantage of. He is not above capitalizing on a friend's weakness to prove a point. While this trait gives him a seeming invulnerability to those around him, his attitude can be easily overbearing, futher isolating him from his allies.
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At age eight Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents. He'll never forget that night. Everything was dark. The moon was high. They had just gotten out of a movie and decided to take a short cut. All three of them went through an alleyway where a mugger by the name of Joe Chill came out. "Money. Jewels," he demanded.
Thomas Wayne Sr., Bruce's father, was calm and gave into the demands in an orderly fashion. His hope was that Chill would get what he wanted then everyone could have gone home. Between Martha's fright and Joe's paranoia a shot went off. Thomas tried to stop it, but was too late. There was a struggle then "bang!" the gun went off the second time. Joe stared at Bruce then realization kicked in so he fled leaving the child alone. Thomas stared at his son and with his dying breathe said, "Don't be..afraid, Bruce."
The media ate up the story. Bruce was dubbed "Gotham's Native Orphan", a play on the titles "Gotham's Favorite Son" and "Gotham's Native Son," and everyone covering the story deemed a double-murder "a tragedy!" Through life Bruce had changed. His private tutors said he excelled more than all their other students. Some part of him was just determined to be the best. He did not play games or do many things for fun. By the time he turned eighteen he was better and angry.
Chill was caught two years before and confessed to the murder while in jail. The trial began. All seemed right with the world. Chill was found guilty. A plea deal was proposed. If Chill gave up who put the hit on the Waynes his charges he would avoid the Death Penalty.
Rumor had it Falcone was behind the hit, but no one could prove it. The only one that could was gunned down while leaving the court house. Bruce saw everything and determined that day, "There's no justice left in the city." That night he upped and left.
Going around the world Bruce submerged himself in the criminal franternity. He stole for survival. Big scores he participated in dealt with goods belonging to Wayne Enterprise, so no laws were truly broken. Training with world champion boxers, and assassin's Bruce conditioned his body. In most cases he gave a fake name so that Bruce Wayne could remain a ghost.
Nearly eight years passed before Bruce returned to Gotham. He wanted everything to be quiet. In order for his ln to work .
Unfortunately quiet was not what Bruce got. Eventually word got out and Bruce was forced to see Wayne Enterprises. Seeing the direction of his company it added new plans to his agenda. His plan was no longer just to save Gotham but his company as well. The exposure forced him to think of a costume. After a few failures Bruce was bloodied and stumbled back into the mansion. Staring at bust of his father, someone he inwardly addressed in his mind. Bruce asked for a sign or he would not seek out Alfred's help. Bleeding in the chair Bruce waited and a bat crashed through the window landing on the statue. Batman was born that day.
For years Bruce has patrolled the streets dressed as Batman. The hero has been seen as one of the greatest, smartest, most dangerous and possibly deranged on the planet. Over time he has assembled a small army for his war on crime. Various side-kicks that started out with Dick Grayson as Robin and it expanded from there. Now he is the general in his own war on crime and a well-respected hero.
|Bruce Wayne's Wanted List|