ByBrad Barnes, writer at
Brad Barnes

It's easy to forget that without Bruce Wayne, Batman is just another billionaire beating up bad guys. Bruce makes Batman distinctive, without Wayne, Batman is nothing.

These 7 stories show just how much Bruce Wayne brings to the table in Batman mythology!

"Batgirl Breaks Up The Dynamic Duo!" by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene from Detective Comics #369. Batgirl realizes that Batman has contracted a virus and will not take bed rest from crime fighting to recuperate, so she pretends to steal Robin from his partnership. By showing Batman getting jealous over losing his ward to this ginger-haired beauty, we see that Bruce is not just a stone-faced crime busting machine!

Batman comes across a killing that has happened in a traveling circus in "A Vow From The Grave!" from Detective Comics #410 by Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano. The warmth that Batman shows to these circus folk while he solves this murder goes far beyond any "I'm sorry for your loss" platitudes. It is the heart of Bruce Wayne that drives Batman to fight crime!

Batman has a broken back so it's Bruce Wayne in a wheelchair to the rescue in JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE #5-6 by Denny O'Neil, Sal Velutto and Jeff Albrecht. Batman is a master strategist, watching him expertly coordinate the Bronze Tiger and Gypsy through the jungles of Santa Prisca in his high-tech wheelchair is a surprising reminder of just how brilliant Bruce Wayne really is, even without the Bat suit!

Why doesn't Bruce Wayne just date supermodels and let the police fight crime, instead? That's what I would do! "Got A Date With An Angel" from Batman Chronicles #19 by Steve Englehart and Javier Pulido answers that burning question with thunder, as his First Year as Batman is seriously cutting into his social life and he has to choose one over the other. Who knew that even billionaires get the blues?

If the Cat doesn't have your tongue then you've never met Catwoman! The Batman/Catwoman romance gets a night on the town in CATWOMAN #32 by the Eisner Award-winning team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, finishes by the marvelous Stefano Gaudiano. What does a billionaire like Bruce see in a jewel thief like Selina? Meow!

It's a wonderful life for the rest of us, but what about for Batman? In "World Without Batman" from Batman Gotham Adventures #33 by Ed Brubaker, Brad Rader and John Lowe, The Phantom Stranger shows Bruce Wayne what his life would be like if he had never become Batman, and it's not pretty!

The cop who comforted young Bruce Wayne after his parents were murdered has a favor to ask of Batman in "The Turning Point" from Batman #603 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (those two guys, again, sheesh!). We are reminded that the tragic events of Crime Alley drove Bruce to become Batman, but that compassion more than rage makes Batman the icon that he is!

(Ed Brubaker has obviously done a wonderful job of keeping the Bruce Wayne in Batman, and he deserves a big "tip of the cowl" for his efforts!)

While Batman has been well-served by the movies, in the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie, it will be the Bruce Wayne in Batman that will make him stand out from the crowd!


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