The single greatest comic book superhero of all time. Created by artist Bob Kane
and writer Bill Finger
and making his first appearance in Detective Comics
, Issue #27 published in 1939, Batman is easily the crowning achievement of the superhero genre. He's one of the most iconic characters (perhaps second only to Superman himself) and he's had some of the best artists and writers work on his multiple comics titles over the years.
In terms of character, Batman is really quite a classic figure being reminiscent of characters such as Hamlet and even to an extent The Count of Monte Cristo and The Scarlet Pimpernel, but he is also equal parts Zorro, and The Shadow. His is the story of Bruce Wayne, a young boy who has seen the worst of humanity when his wealthy parents are murdered by a street thug. Driven by a desire for vengeance and a deep psychological need to rid the world of crime, he comes to the conclusion that only by evoking fear in the hearts of criminals as dark figure of justice and retribution can he become a true adversary to the hordes of criminals living in the overcrowded city of Gotham. Thus he dons the cape and cowl and becomes the legendary Batman.
The Batman has been portrayed by more actors than almost any superhero (again, only Superman, the first true superhero has outdone him here) and he remains one of, if not the single most popular character in the DC Comics Universe
. After having starred in radio shows, serials, television series, movies, animated shows and films, and video games, one has to wonder what the future of Batman will hold...