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Bruce Wayne is the son of the late Thomas and Martha Wayne. At age six, while chasing a rabbit at home, Bruce Wayne fell down a hole and encountered a bat. At age eight, all three went to a movie theater in Park Row to watch "The Mark of Zorro." On the walk home, they were accosted by a criminal named Joe Chill. Chill shot and killed both adults and ran off. Wayne was raised at Wayne Manor by the family butler, Alfred Pennyworth. He didn't forget his parents' deaths and vowed to help rid Gotham City of all evil once and for all. At age 13, Wayne embarked on a journey across the world to study various ways of fighting crime, including chemistry, criminology, disguise, escape artistry, forensic studies, gymnastics, and styles of martial arts. After 12 years, Wayne reached his physical and mental peak. Upon returning home, Wayne donned the guise of Batman after a near fatal run in with the police, and went after organized crime.

Batman soon became hunted by the police themselves but he struck up a partnership and friendship with James Gordon, who later became Police Commissioner. Eventually, the government and the public forced the retirement of Batman and other super heroes. Wayne ended his relationship with the first Robin, Dick Grayson, and made a promise to the late second Robin, Jason Todd, he would never be Batman again. Over the course of a decade, Wayne engaged in death defying stunts and drank alcohol without end. He also sponsored the rehabilitation of Harvey Dent during his incarceration at the Arkham Home for the Emotionally Troubled. After Two-Face's return and the height of violent crime attributed to the Mutants, Bruce Wayne could no longer hold Batman back. News streamed in of multiple sightings of a bat-like creature critically injuring various criminals across the city. Some hailed Batman's return as symbolic of the common man rising up again while others viewed him as a fascist with no regard for civil rights.

Batman recaptured Two-Face before he could kill himself and take the Gotham Life Building with him. Batman then made his move against the Mutant Gang and tried to match their savagery. However, the Mutant Leader proved too much for the grizzled Dark Knight. Arm dislocated and beaten, Batman was almost impaled when an inspired teenager named Carrie Kelley intervened. Batman used the window to asphyxiate the leader. On the way back to the Batcave, Batman confided his secret identity to Kelley and took her on as the new Robin. Batman came up with a plan to humiliate the Mutant Leader in front of his followers and crush their spirits. He sent Kelley, disguised as a Mutant, to spread word of a meeting at the Pipe. Batman then had Commissioner Gordon arrange for the Mutant Leader to escape his jail cell in Gotham Central. The Leader made his way into the sewage system and arrived right at the Pipe. Batman knocked him into a mud pit and systematically defeated the Leader. He then proceeded to break the Leader's arms and legs then beat him unconscious. With Batman-inspired vigilantism on the rise, Batman noted it felt like old times.

Three months later, Batman began investigating all associates of the Joker after the announcement he was appearing on an episode of "The David Endochrine Show." Disguised as a homeless woman, Batman confronted Bruno and Don & Rob during a liquor store hold up. Batman instructed Robin to lead Bruno into an alley. Bruno took the bait and charged, entering a building. While fighting off Batman, Bruno's grenades caused the floors to crash in. She fell down the hole into the sewers below. Batman attempted to question her about the Joker's plans but Superman arrived and dispatched her. Superman wanted to talk about him going back into retirement but Batman scheduled a meeting the next morning. At Wayne Manor, he refused to go back into retirement despite Superman's warnings and believed the President's administration was a farce of an authority. Due to the publicity of Joker's appearance, Batman was unable to infiltrate the live recording and stop him from murdering 206 people but left dozens of police hospitalized.

Upon watching a news feed on Congressman Noches' insane rant, Batman and Robin drove to the Gotham Vista Hotel. Disguised as a Lieutenant O'Halloran, Batman infiltrated the crime scene and learned Noches was seeing a brain washed callgirl from Kyle Escorts. With his cover blown, Batman fled the scene with Robin and raced to Kyle Escorts. They found Selina Kyle tied up and dressed like Wonder Woman. Batman freed Kyle and she told him about the Joker and his Mind Control Lipstick. With a clue pointing to the Fairgrounds and police closing in, Batman and Robin left the building aboard the Batwing. Batman declared he was through playing games because of the people who were murdered by the Joker because he let him live. The Joker attempted to take a girl named Michelle hostage but Batman impaled three throwing stars in him, including an eye. The Joker took a boy hostage and ran into the House of Mirrors. Batman took a bullet but Joker ran out of ammo and ran off. Batman and Joker had their final battle in the Tunnel of Love.

Stabbed multiple times and losing consciousness, Batman partially snapped Joker's neck. Two bystanders thought Batman killed the Joker and ran off to tell the police. The Joker believed he won and forced Batman to lose control. For murder, Batman would be put down by the authorities. Batman refused to finish the Joker off. Nonchalant, the Joker finished himself off. Batman rigged the Joker's body to incinerate and narrowly fled the police thanks to Robin. Alfred Pennyworth did what he could to sew Batman up. Once the electromagnetic pulse from the Coldbringer struck Gotham, Batman awoke and realized what Superman let happen. Batman and Robin left Wayne Manor on horseback and folded the Sons of the Batman under their lead to bring order to the city. Together, they neutralized a clash between Mutants and looters. Commissioner Yindel realized Batman was too big and repealed her vow to arrest him. Batman's vigilante gang maintained peace in Gotham while the rest of the nation plunged into chaos. Batman's victory was another blow to the President's credentials.

One week later, the President asked Superman to take Batman down. Superman allowed Batman to choose where they would fight. Batman chose Crime Alley. Taking a cue from Green Arrow's actions in the dissolution of the Justice League, Batman devised a plan to take his operations underground. Batman constructed a suit that augmented his strength and took a pill that would simulate a fatal heart attack that would go into effect an hour later. Batman cleaned out all of Bruce Wayne's accounts and financial holdings and had Pennyworth initiate a self-destruct that would level the Batcave and Wayne Manor. As Batman engaged Superman, still weakened from the Coldbringer, Green Arrow moved into position with a Kryptonite arrow. Once Superman was exposed to the Kryptonite, Batman declared his victory was a reminder to stay out of his way. On cue, Batman had his heart attack and died. Gotham City and the world was stunned to discover Batman was Bruce Wayne.

The next week, Wayne's funeral was held. Superman heard Wayne's heart beating but understood if Batman kept his operations secret, Superman would have no pretext to stop him. Carrie Kelley dug up Wayne and they met up with Green Arrow, the Mutants, and the Sons of Batman at the site chosen for the new Batcave. Bruce Wayne declared he would teach the youths all of his ways and secrets and mold them into his army, operating from the shadows to keep Gotham City safe. While they got to work on the new base, Wayne admitted after spending 10 years for a good death, this would be a good life. Good enough.