Invented by Bob Kane in 1940. Coolest superhero in American comic book history (the Incredible Hulk probably comes in a discreet second). Batman's real-life alter ego is billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne. When summoned to crime-ridden Gotham City by the Batsignal (a batlike silhouette within a searchlight beam, shining onto those perpetually dense clouds) he proceeds to de-scum the place like nobody else. Often has at least one delightfully camp side-kick, but generally works best alone.
Unforgettable scene from Tim Burton's 1988 movie ..,
(BATMAN dangles HOOD over side of 23-storey building)
I'm not going to harm you. I want you to do something. I want you to tell all your friends who I am.
Hood (howling in fear):
WHO ARE YOU?!?
(Batman pulls the Hood in about an inch from his masked face.)
(He throws the Hood down on the flat roof behind them. Long before the criminal has regained a fraction of his composure, Batman has disappeared into the shadows.)
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