I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.
In early strips, Batman's career as a vigilante initially earns him the ire of the police.
Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in the 1986 miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by writer-artist Frank Miller.
That and the success of director Tim Burton's 1989 Batman motion picture helped reignite popular interest in the character.
As the decades wore on, differing takes on the character emerged.
The late 1960s Batman television series utilized a camp aesthetic associated with the character for years after the show ended.
Few elements of the character's history have remained constant. Pearson noted in the early 1990s, "Unlike some fictional characters, the Batman has no primary urtext set in a specific period, but has rather existed in a plethora of equally valid texts constantly appearing over more than five decades." The central fixed event in the Batman stories is the character's origin story.
Batman became a popular character soon after his introduction, and eventually gained his own title, Batman.
Nevertheless, details of Batman's history were altered or expanded upon through the decades.
Additions include meetings with a future Superman during his youth, his upbringing by his uncle Philip Wayne (introduced in Batman #208, Jan./Feb.
During this period Wayne has a fiancée named Julie Madison.
Wayne takes in an orphaned circus acrobat, Dick Grayson, who becomes his sidekick, Robin.