- For other uses of "Batman", see Batman (disambiguation).
- "You start with a code. You hang onto it with every self-righteous breath. But then you take one life. Then another, then another, then another."
- —Bruce Wayne to Kate Kane[src]
Bruce Wayne (died December 2019) was the cousin of the late Kate Kane and Beth Kane who spent his lifetime protecting Gotham City as the vigilante Batman, stylized as the "Dark Knight." Unfortunately, Bruce succumbed to his homicidal urges and killed the majority of his enemies, including his Earth's Superman, whom Bruce's xenophobic attitudes caused him to incorrectly perceive as a threat; his career was thus seen as a reign of terror, and its end celebrated. Despite his moral decline, Bruce was believed to be the Paragon of Courage until it was revealed to actually be Earth-1's Batwoman, who became the Paragon after protecting Earth-38's Supergirl from the misguided, fallen hero, accidentally killing Bruce in the process.
Bruce Wayne has mostly experienced the same events as his Earth-1 counterpart. Namely, his parents' deaths that had led him to dedicate himself, body and soul, to fighting crime. Dressing as a bat, Bruce became the masked vigilante Batman, operating out of his secret cave below his mansion. There are minor differences, however, such as the circumstances of how he operated in Gotham City as well as his sense of justice.
Reign of terror
Savior to murderer
- "It's like a wise man once said. 'Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster.' I've lost track of how many people I've killed."
- —Bruce Wayne to Kate Kane[src]
Over the years, Bruce has made a lot of enemies, some being a large assortment of villains make up Batman's rogues gallery, including Clayface and Jane Doe. Despite starting with a code never to kill, Bruce ended up taking one life. He would eventually lose track of how many people he killed, keeping a wall of trophies holding mementos of Batman's greatest victories. Gotham considered Bruce's tenure as a vigilante as a reign of terror. At some point, his cousin Kate Kane put on a cape, believing she would succeed where Bruce had failed, only to get herself killed. Bruce ended up a broken man, uninterested in redeeming himself and believing the world was not worth saving in any universe.
- "Strange visitor from another planet comes to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men? Clark... Clark always said yes to anyone with a badge. Or a flag. He gave them too much power."
- —Bruce Wayne on his murder of Superman[src]
When Superman revealed himself on Earth, Bruce saw him as a man with powers and abilities unlike any mortal. Despite this, he had a close enough relationship to call him by his alter ego's name, "Clark," as well as learn of his vulnerability to Kryptonite. But once he realized Superman always said "yes" to anyone with a badge or a flag, giving them too much power, Bruce came to believe that Clark was a threat purely because his Kryptonian abilities. Bruce went head-on against Clark and killed him. In the battle, Bruce himself was almost killed in the process, forcing him to wear an exoskeleton so he could move around. Bruce kept Clark's pair of broken black-rimmed glasses on a wall of trophies. Batman's "reign of terror" presumably ended with Bruce barely able to walk, as well as his belief that there is no hope for the world.
Five years after the death of his cousin, during which point he presumably retired, a girl that looked like Kate appeared in the entrance after her friend Kara broke the door. Bruce asked Luke to stop pointing his gun at them and has a talk about who she is. Knowing that Clayface was currently mud and that Jane Doe was in Arkham, he asked her about who she was before revealing that she was supposed to be dead. Once she explained the Crisis that was coming and that it was believed that he was the Paragon of Courage, Bruce laughed as he revealed that he wasn't a hero since he even lost count of how many people he killed.
Later, in his underground lair, he showed his suit in spider's web explaining that he would not fit in it anymore and that he can barely walk. When Kate explained that the multiverse was in great danger, Bruce revealed that he didn't care as long as this world died. When Kara as Supergirl entered the lair revealing that he had killed his Earth's Superman, Bruce revealed that he hated Superman for being powerful and punched Kara, revealing the Kryptonite inside his Exoskeleton. After Kate interfered and tried to stop Bruce from killing Kara, he was accidentally pushed on an electric remote, electrocuting him. Kate attempted to help Bruce, but Kara, knowing it would be futile and would kill her as well, stopped her. With his dying breath, Bruce told Kate that there was no hope.
- "That Bruce was brave once, too, and he had heart. What if I end up like him?"
- —Kate Kane to Kara Danvers[src]
Despite believing Bruce was the Paragon of Courage, Kate and Kara discovered after the harrowing trial has that Kate was in fact the Paragon. However, Bruce's notions of hopelessness would affect Kate to the point that she kept a piece of his Kryptonite. Feeling guilty of Bruce's death, she started to fear the possibility of becoming like him.
Kara was shocked upon realizing that Kate kept Bruce's Kryptonite, but ultimately believed it was better left in her hands.
- "My parents taught me a very different lesson. Life only makes sense if you force it to."
- —Bruce Wayne[src]
Bruce was a stark contrast from his Earth-1 counterpart, being much darker, pessimistic, and hopeless. While his counterpart was a team player and never took a life, this Bruce Wayne is bitter and a lone wolf, transitioning into a villain when he crossed a line by taking a life, instead of stopping bad guys like he used to. He even laughed at the idea of him being the Paragon of Courage. One look at Bruce's collection of trophies was enough to convince Kara Danvers that no rational person could consider him "a Paragon of anything," especially when she saw Superman's civilian glasses among them.
Bruce was also borderline-suicidal and a nihilist. While he could never take his own life or destroy the world, he refused to lift a finger to save himself or the world if the antimatter wave were to wipe away his home dimension or the rest of the multiverse.
Bruce embodied a paranoid, prejudiced attitude towards Kryptonians; he believed that his world's Superman was a threat purely because his abilities were "beyond those of mortal men", never once considering Superman's moral compass or refusal to kill, and was appalled that Kate Kane would trust Kara. Bruce fought and killed Superman out of this paranoia, and didn't hesitate to try and kill Kara as well.
Powers and abilities
- Abilities via exoskeleton: Due to the serious injuries he received from Superman, Bruce had to wear an exoskeleton that assisted his body with motor skills.
- "Earth-99 exists in a future time where Bruce Wayne has dedicated himself, body and soul, to fighting crime."
- Peak of human physical condition: Bruce had dedicated his body to fighting crime. He had withstood a lifetime of injuries, most notably from Superman.
- Genius-level intellect/Master detective/Master tactician: Like his primary counterpart, Bruce was a highly intelligent individual. He instantly figured out that the Kate Kane of Earth-1 was not a ghost, Clayface, nor Jane Doe. He keeps a wall of trophies from his greatest victories, having defeated many villains. Bruce even managed to kill Superman, and kept a piece of Kryptonite in his exoskeleton as a backup in case he confronted any others like him.
- Intimidation: The Gotham City Gazette described Bruce's war on crime as a "reign of terror." Bruce even lost track of how many people he killed.
- Indomitable will: Bruce Wayne was stated to have dedicated his soul to fighting crime.
- "Bruce killed this Earth's Superman?!"
- "Who do you think put him in that exoskeleton? Yeah, big mistake."
- —Kara Danvers and Luke[src]
- Disability: After Bruce's final battle against Superman which proved to be their most decisive fight, while he succeeded in murdering him, Superman while defending himself made Bruce pay for that by wreaking his body. Without his exoskeleton, Bruce would not be able to move and more than likely be bound to his bed. When Kate Kane protected Kara Danvers from him, he was unable to recover from a kick and stumbled onto a remote, resulting in his death.
- Mental instability: Bruce gradually gave into his homicidal tendencies and went on a murder spree throughout Gotham, murdering numerous criminals and supervillains. Eventually, Gotham considered his tenure as a vigilante as a reign of terror - seeing Bruce become the villain. Bruce's xenophobia of aliens, particularly Kryptonians, drove him to the point of extreme paranoia. Not caring about his or the city's safety, he fought and murdered Superman. After realizing that Kara Danvers was a Kryptonian, Bruce also allowed his bigotry towards her to override his self-preservation instincts, resulting in his death at the hands of Kate Kane.
- "And I'm not an old man held together with wire and metal."
- —Bruce Wayne[src]
- Exoskeleton: After Bruce's fight with Superman, he had to wear a metallic exoskeleton suit to help him move around.
- "A little souvenir from the old home town."
- —Bruce Wayne[src]
- Kryptonite: Bruce used Kryptonite in his battle against Superman. He later used it against Kara Danvers when fighting against her. Some of his supply was taken by Kate Kane after his death.
- Trophies: Bruce kept items belonging to his victims, including Superman's civilian glasses, in a trophy room as a reminder of his greatest victories.
- Batman suit: Whilst fighting crime in Gotham, Bruce wore a protective black suit stylized like a bat.
- Car: Bruce has a car in his lair.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Crisis on Infinite Earths
- Even though it is unknown when he ended his crime-fighting career, Bruce is probably one of the most seasoned and experienced superheroes in the known multiverse (aside from J'onn J'onzz)
- Bruce's trophy case contains grisly souvenirs referencing the Joker (a bloody playing card), The Riddler (his trademark cane), and Mr. Freeze (the snow globe containing an effigy of Nora Fries).
Behind the scenes
- This version of Bruce Wayne was played by Kevin Conroy. Conroy previously voiced the character in various animated movies, television, and video game series, starting with 1992 DCAU's Batman: The Animated Series. is Conroy's first live-action appearance. His voice is even heard first before physically appearing.
- Kevin Conroy discussed with Entertainment Weekly how the "Crisis" role took him by surprise, stating how the experience of playing Batman for the first time in live-action "threw him" at first. "I never approached this character from that physicalized aspect. I always just inhabited him with my voice", Conroy said. "When you do that in a recording studio, it's a very intimate experience and you're sort of living in your own imagination. You do it with your eyes closed and you're in this other world, and you have Mark Hamill feeding you (need), and the other actors (because we always recorded together in the booths)." "To actually be on the set, in the physical world, and to be walking as the character and inhabiting the character in three dimensions, it was a real transition for me", he added. "It did take a while to get used to, I have to admit. I was surprised because I know the character so well."
- Ruby Rose and Melissa Benoist helped Conroy overcome this initial obstacle on how to approach his character. "Everybody was so generous to work with. I can't emphasize how enough how welcoming everyone was, especially Ruby. She is so open and giving. I just fell into her eyes at one point and we just connected on camera. It was wonderful", he says, adding that it was "amazing" to work with Benoist, too. "I felt like I was working with old friends I'd known for years. There was just such trust there that I could open up to them on camera."
- Executive producer Marc Guggenheim spoke of Conroy, "He is stupendous, He is Bruce Wayne. (It's) just a lot of fun to see this actor who we all mainly know from voice work being on camera. It was really exciting." Conroy's appearance in "Crisis" is the result of a dream. "One of the things that was always on my bucket list is that I wanted to see old Bruce Wayne," says Guggenheim. "We talked about a variety of different casting possibilities, but (Legends of Tomorrow showrunner) Keto Shimizu, who is a huge animated Batman fan, pointed out that Kevin is the right age. We reached out to Kevin and he couldn't have been more lovely and more game for it."
- Earth-99 Bruce Wayne shares similarities with various Batmen:
- Bruce going on a killing spree was seen in the Titans episode "Dick Grayson" albeit it was a reality created in Dick Grayson's mind by Trigon.
- Bruce's appearance as an old man with a metallic exoskeleton is based off the Kingdom Come storyline.
- Kate tells Bruce (after finding out he killed on this Earth) that the Bruce she knows has a code, a reference to Batman's one rule: he doesn't kill.
- Bruce's views on Superman are reminiscent of The Dark Knight Returns comic and Ben Affleck's character from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This is referenced by Bruce's dialogue towards Supergirl. Even in this regard, he is a far darker incarnation; the incarnation from The Dark Knight Returns never intended to kill Superman, only defeat him, and while Affleck's incarnation did intend to kill Superman, he came to his senses at the last moment and realized that Superman was not a threat.
- Bruce drives the same Batmobile as the 1989 Batman.
- Danny Elfman's themes used for the 1989 Batman film, The Animated Series, and 2017 film Justice League can be heard.
- While talking to Kate, Bruce references Friedrich Nietzsche in the episode: "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." This is the second time Kevin Conroy references Nietzsche, the first being in the Batman: The Animated Series episode, "I Am the Night" during his sorrowful talk with Dick Grayson.
- The scene in the Batcave on Earth-99 has Bruce describe Kryptonite to Kara as "A little souvenir from the old home town." Similar to how Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor described it to a weakened Superman in Superman: The Movie.
- Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) - Twitter
|Other versions of Bruce Wayne (Earth-99)|
|To see other versions of this character, click the Earth name below for that Earth's counterpart of Bruce Wayne.|
|Earth: 1 • 2 • 38 • 99 • 203 • TUD14|
|Earth: 1A • 27A|