Batman alongside allies. Pictured from left to right: Robin, Batman, Oracle, Commissioner Gordon, and Huntress. Art by Jim Lee.

A collective of fictional characters appear in American comic books published by DC Comics featuring the superhero Batman as the main protagonist.

Since Batman's introduction in 1939, the character has accumulated a number of recognizable supporting characters. The first Batman supporting character was Commissioner James Gordon, who first appeared in the same comic book as Batman in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), and is Batman's ally in the Gotham City Police Department. Robin, Batman's vigilante partner, was introduced in the Spring of 1940, Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's butler, was introduced in 1943, and Barbara Gordon was introduced in 1967.

"Batman family" is the informal term for Batman's closest allies, generally masked vigilantes operating in Gotham City. Batman also forms strong bonds or close working relationships with other superheroes, including Justice League members Superman, Green Arrow, Zatanna and Wonder Woman as well as members of the Outsiders superhero team. Others such as Jason Bard, Harold, Onyx, and Toyman work for him.

In addition, Batman has perhaps the most well known collection of adversaries in fiction, commonly referred to as Batman's rogues gallery, which includes the Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Two-Face, among others.

Batman family

"Batman family" is the informal name for Batman's closest allies, generally masked vigilantes who either have been trained by Batman or operate in Gotham City with his tacit approval.

The group consists of similarly-minded superheroes who operate in the Gotham City area and work towards achieving common goals. Batman is often the team leader or, in some cases, its dispatch. Various members of the group usually interact with one another and assist in each other's cases, even within their respective series. Although some members occasionally resent Batman’s intrusion into their lives, all respect him as a legend within the superhero community and rarely dare to challenge his authority.[1] Most of the members also have a strong rapport with the Dark Knight due to their long and close relationships with him over the years, and consider him a close friend and ally, and acknowledge that he most likely shares that sentiment, no matter how averse he is to actually showing it.[2] In a 2002 storyline in which Bruce Wayne is accused of murder, Batman's friends gather to prove his innocence.[3] It has also been implied through Batman's history that this network serves as a surrogate family for Batman and keeps him from slipping too far into his ruthless vigilante persona.[4]

Current members (DC Rebirth)

Batman Inc.

Five years in the future (Future's End)

Deceased members

Status unclear

New 52

Pre-New 52

Former members (Pre-New 52)

Paul Kirk was a masked man during WWII that became a pawn for the Council when they genetically altered him into an assassin. When Kirk learned that the Council was using him and created clones of him as their soldiers, he joined with ninja master Asano Nitobe and Interpol agent Christine St. Clair to destroy the organization and kill his doubles. Kirk would add Batman to this group before his demise in his mission, the remaining trio continuing his work posthumously. An exception in this would be made for the clone Kirk DePaul. Neither Paul or his clone appear in the New 52.
Mark Shaw was a human infiltrator for the Manhunters that would later distance himself from the group and become the super-villain Star-Tsar, infiltrating the Justice League as the Privateer. After some time in prison, he wiped his record with service in the Suicide Squad. Afterward, he would again go by the name Manhunter as a bounty hunter working with Oracle operating largely out of New York. Shaw would take down several of Batman's rogues before the two met battling the Sportsmaster. In The New 52, Mark Shaw appears in the Forever Evil storyline as a U.S. Marshal who is assigned to find Barbara Minerva, the Cheetah. He is referred to as "one of the best manhunters" in the United States Marshals Service.
Kate Spencer is the grand daughter of Phantom Lady that took up the title Manhunter and later joined the Birds of Prey. She is currently the district attorney for Gotham City where she at one point continued to operate alongside the Birds as Manhunter. Kate does not appear in the New 52.

Gotham City Police Department

Main article: Gotham City Police Department

The GCPD were featured in their own series: the limited series Batman: GCPD and the ongoing series Gotham Central, in which they investigate the unusual crimes that plague the city, in a personal effort to minimize Batman's involvement.[45][46] Gotham Central series ended its 40 issue run in 2006.[47]

Other members of the Gotham City Police Department have played prominent roles in Batman's extended "family".

Allied DC superheroes

Main article: Justice League

Batman regularly interacts with other DC superheroes in titles such as the Justice League of America. A few, however, have a marked presence in the core Batman titles:

In more recent times, their friendship has been depicted as more uneasy, but still with a deep amount of respect.[59] In the current chronology, Batman and Superman first encounter one another early in their careers when Superman arrives in Gotham City to arrest the notorious "outlaw" known as Batman, just as Batman is investigating a murderous criminal named Magpie.[60] Superman left this encounter with Batman, believing he had the best of intentions, though disagreeing with Batman's methods. As Superman flew back to Metropolis, Batman lamented to himself that Superman was a remarkable individual and that "perhaps, in another lifetime, he might call the Man of Steel his friend."[60]
They have collaborated many times in the years since then, learning each other's secret identities, recognizing that their goals are essentially the same, and despite their frequent tense relationship, are close allies and friends.[61] Superman has entrusted Lex Luthor's Kryptonite ring to Batman, as a weapon to be used against Superman in case the Man of Steel should ever be turned against the people of Earth.[62] In keeping with that attitude, Batman and Superman are often depicted as being the opposite sides of the same coin, both products of their environments, as indicated in their vastly different styles of crime fighting. Superman became a hero because he subscribed to wholesome idealism, while Batman was motivated by personal tragedy and a troubled past. Regardless, after one instance of Batman using the ring to prevent a mind-controlled Superman from wrongdoing, Superman told Batman that he knew he, "gave the ring to the right person." Batman shook his hand, and simply said, "What're friends for?"[59]

Antagonists

Main article: List of Batman family enemies

Batman comics have introduced many classic villains. His rogues gallery is one of the most identifiable in modern fiction. The Joker, Two-Face, and the Penguin are some of the most recognizable foes; other notable villains include Catwoman, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Ra's al Ghul, Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn, the Scarecrow, Bane, Killer Croc, the Mad Hatter, and Clayface, among others. Some of Batman's rogues gallery are notable for sometimes functioning as allies as well as villains. Some examples of this are Catwoman, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Two-Face (Harvey Dent), Red Hood, Anarky, and Talia al Ghul. Recently, emphasis on the psychological motivations of Batman villains have painted them in a much more sympathetic light than in their earlier stories, most notably Mr. Freeze and the Ventriloquist in their Batman: The Animated Series incarnations.

Antagonists from other media

Love interests

Bruce Wayne's love interests

In alternate universes

In other media

Film
Animation

Dick Grayson's love interests

In other media

Terry McGinnis' love interests

Tim Drake's love interests

Stephanie adopts the moniker of Spoiler in order to capture her criminal father the Cluemaster, and she assists Batman and Robin in his arrest. Spoiler later helps Robin out during several missions, saving his life once and, in thanks, he gives her a kiss. After that, she begins to regularly patrol the city with Robin, and they develop a mutual crush even though he is dating Ariana (which Stephanie does not know). They start dating after Tim breaks up with Ariana, but he doesn't reveal his real identity to her. Batman ultimately reveals Tim's real identity to Stephanie, which upsets Tim, who storms out on them when he finds out. Regardless, they continue dating until she fakes her death at the end of Batman: War Games. Later, when they're Red Robin and Batgirl, Tim tries to restart their relationship, but Stephanie rejects him because he wasn't good for her. During Batgirl: Convergence, the pre-"Flashpoint" versions of Tim and Stephanie get back together. In the DC Rebirth continuity, they are in a relationship once again.

Supporting characters

Wayne family

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2014)

This section lists the ancestors and relatives of Bruce Wayne:

Supporting characters in other media

Characters from alternate continuities

Several characters featured outside of modern Batman canon are of note:

See also

References

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